MD #250: Picon Recon
MD #250: Picon Recon
Summary: Intel has identified a possible isolated pro-Colonial settlements on Picon. The Marines go in for a covert reconnaissance.
Date: 14/12/2017 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: None
Atticus Avery Emily Leander Lleufer Maxwell Palermo Randy 
An area with two isolated communities in the mountain valleys of Picon.
Sun Jul 01 2049 (MD#250)

Operation Copper Basin. It starts with the briefed recon to Picon. A cruiser wormholes them back into the area, then the Raptor jumps the rest of the way out. The flight crew takes their time to approach Picon carefully, watching their sensors and cameras. There's a fleet of Skath ships in orbit, but not as many as expected. Its something for the Tactical types to chew on. The following jump is the one that puckers the darker areas of the body. A jump into atmo and not far above ground level.

The arrival jump bangs loud and the Raptor is at 5000 feet above the ground. The pilot shoves the Raptor into a near vertical dive and shoves the throttles up. The ECO is calling out potential targets and SAM emitters, including a distant Saber site. He's not sure any of them are getting good paints on the skin of the Raptor, but he knows damned well they are out there. The cameras are running in every direction possible, capturing at every wavelength. Luckily this roller coaster ride doesn't last too long either. With nice, sunny weather, the air has a touch of chill in the late afternoon with hints and promises of lit hearths this evening. On the high plains up here, far from an ocean, this is the sort of place where 'isolated' doesn't quite accurately describe it. There aren't any other towns within two days ride.

The Raptor is flying so low that it has to dodge around trees and when it does finally come to a stop, it settles in a small cut through the woods of gridsquare DI22, right at the edge of DH22. When the doors open they can smell the local pines and sap, the slightly crisp idea of a coming winter. There are no houses visible and it looks like they're in the middle of nowhere, but there is actually a house less than a mile away - which is normal for the area. A lot of people live on large plots of land in the area. Around them on the ground, the grass is about ankle deep and the wooded areas have thick, lush beds of pine needles. In the distance the Marines can hear a heard of cattle moo'ing. Everything about this feels like a home many of them left behind.

Coming back to the Colonies is always hard.

Atticus had managed to get some real fresh air on Ostia the day prior, but this is the first time he's been back in his 'own' clothes since he was captured. It isn't lost to him that they're back on Picon. but thankfully not close enough to his old stomping grounds that he'll be recognised. Hopefully. His pistol is concealed undeaneath his cloak, and his belt sports a knife rather than his sword, best not to draw too much attention after all. The Raptor ride is .. an experience. He hasn't been concious for one before and it's going to take some getting used to, but he survived and waits his turn to hop out behind some of the more experienced marines. Taking a long slow breath he fills his lungs with the air of home then looks around to try and get his barings based on the pre-mission briefing.

Emily graduated basic and now she's apparently a full on Marine. How ironic to leave her home planet a titled Lady and return a few months later as a ranked Private. She asked to leave and now she had hoped to get to return. Wearing a dress into combat? Sigh. She ends up just wearing a pair of tight camouflage pants under the skirt. The boots are not negotiable, either. She knows how rocky Picon can get. Body armor is quickly foregone with the idea of fitting it beneath women's clothing. She brings a changepurse and hangs it from her left hip, dropping a couple grenades into it. The pistol is tucked into the thigh holster beneath the skirt. With a cloak over all of it, she looks like any other commoner. And stepping down from the Raptor, she walks over beside Atticus and smiles up at him. Nothing said. He knows the look.

Maxwell stays pressed back into his seat for the rather eventful ride to the planet. "For the love of… feels like they let one of the MP's fly." he mutters at the shaking and pounding of the Raptor around them. Seccretly, he never really cared for flying. To easy to get killed by something he can't shoot back at.

Once the Raptor touches down, Max is unbuckled and standing almost before the pilot has time to pull the engines offline. He adjusts his gear one last time and then gets serious. Check ammo and clips in his weapons, makes sure he has everything in his pack and then is set. Recon is always the worst. Going someplace that you normally wouldn't go, with less stuff that would normally want to have with you. Eh… normal is boring. He slips one hand inside his cloak and with a faint click, click, double checks the safety on his sidearm. Better… wait for it… safe, than sorry. Yes, yes… this is why he is a Marine, not a comedian.

Wearing a cloak and a backpack, Avery has her handgun concealed either beneath the cloak or in the backpack, whichever had concealed it completely. Likely the former. The grenades on the other hand, should she have some, are in the backpack. The hint of the chill in the air made the cloak believable at least and she takes a moment to get a deep breath of fresh air. It was home, she was home here. Picon. Stepping aside for the others, she stands a little stiffly. Recon. The unknown.

Lleufer has been ordered to bring his Picon peeps, even if Emily has only just finished her basic and rifleman abrieviated training, and Atticus has only started his. If Yynyr is uneasy about those orders, Lleu is refusing to show it. He's in clothing that is rough and should fit in locally, a bit soiled and well used, but layered enough against autumn chill with a cloak over it to help conceal the light body armor he's wearing underneath. Like others, he has a concealed knife and pistol against need and is carrying a beat up leather ruck with a few extra things in it. No rifle this time, ugh. The Gunnery Sergeant's Arpay ears are covered with a leather cap that fits like an old fashioned pilot's cap that could be secured beneath his chin. Contact lenses conceal the difference of his eyes. Soon as the Raptor lands they disembark, "Let's make sure the immediate area is clear and help pull the camo netting over the Raptor. Soon as that's done, we'll start along the trees to the south towards Piper Crossing. Keep your voices down, quiet." His own baritone is low. Com silence unless they have to break it - for those who could conceal ear buds.

Private Jacob Leander may be an MP by training, but he volunteers for ground duty every chance he gets. He didn't expect to be dressed in 'ye olde garb' for a mission, let alone leaving his canine partner behind, but what are you going to do? Leander has light body armor under his clothes, with a sidearm in a shoulder holster, a knife, and a large knapsack with zip ties, extra food, and water. On the ride in he is silent, bouncing along as the raptor makes its thrill-ride approach and landing. There may be some muttered prayers as they dive toward the ground, but the Private is on his foot as soon as possible and ready to get out. It's got to be safer on the groud, right? Hearing Lleufer's orders, Leander gives a nod and gets busy with the camo netting. "Aye Gunney."

The camo netting only takes a few moments and checking the perimeter another few minutes. So far everything is quiet and there isn't a lot o cause for concern. The closest house turns out to be occupied and if anyone heard the Raptor land, the kids playing in the yard out front don't seem to have anything to say about possible sounds. The lady of the house can't be seen, nor can the man. Maybe its just that sort of safe. The kids are five or six and seem to be just fine playing their games, barefoot in the grass. The barn has plenty of horses but no other sign of human presence.

Moving south through the woods doesn't take too long. The bed of pine needles and thick trees makes quick and silent movement a lot easier. When they come to the edge of the woods they can see the early evening settling in. There is a road that stretches off north-northeast past some other ranch homes. Half a mile to the south is the main intersection of the town. There's a low downhill heading that direction, giving them a good view of the straightline road heading down there. There are people walking around and plenty of people on horseback. …And even some women moving around with a pater.

<FS3> Atticus rolls Alertness: Good Success.

<FS3> Leander rolls Alertness: Good Success.

<FS3> Emily rolls Alertness: Failure.

<FS3> Avery rolls Alertness: Failure.

<FS3> Lleufer rolls Alertness: Great Success.

<FS3> Maxwell rolls Alertness: Failure.

<FS3> Randy rolls Alertness: Good Success.

Randy is in full prosthetic disguise as per usual, brown normal eyes like the ones she used to have how many decades back now? She's wearing a cloak, has a knife sheathe tucked away at her waist and one in her boot. Over her long skirt she has a cloak and has tied some ties around her arms just below the elbows. In lieu of having no rifle, she's got two pistols holstered. One strapped to her thigh under that skirt with some sturdier pands and one fit with a silencer concealed at her waist. She's concealed her usual EOD field kit as a sack that hangs crosswise over her shoulder. No one needs to know what she's packing in there right? Once they land, she flicks on some kind of recording device in her bag, hoists it up onto her shoulder, give Lleu a nod, and pulls her silenced pistol to help clear the perimeter and toss the camo netting over their ride. "Lleu. Think maybe we should make sure every girl has a guy?" She doesn't even have to squint down to see what's going on. Those Arpay eyes are just unfair.

The Gunnery Sergeant also has a discrete recorder pinned just under the edge of his hood at one shoulder. Lleufer gives Randy a nod, "That's a good idea. Every gal should pair up with a fella. Pretend he's your brother or husband, just for cover." As they head southwards, they all keep sharp eyes and ears alert. The tree cover is used at times for Ynyr to pull out his binocs from his pack and observe the town as they draw nearer. He frowns and passes on in his lowered baritone, "Looks like a few women with a pater. Further in looks like three militia with long blades. Could easily be more farther in town so keep an eye out." The binocs are put back into his pack, "Let's go in by the road. We can break up into small clumps and spread out a little."

Emily stays quiet. She's usually keen to have something to say, but fresh out of basic and into the fire, she's trying to remember all the drills and classes. Rather than blathering about anything, she walks with her cloak pulled closed. There's a real attempt to not walk with her trained posture, something she has to force herself to avoid. It would be an immediate reason for questioning. The question from Randy has her stop and look to the men. Beneath the cloak she's gathering up the right side of her skirt and tucking it up under the pistol belt, putting her hand on the grip and thumb putting pressure to unsnap the clasp. Lleu's orders have her smile just a bit and she glances to Atticus, then Lleu. Still trying to fit in with the Colonials, 'picking a man' is probably a bridge too far for Private Benning at the moment.

After they're done securing the LZ, Leander double checks his equipment while keeping an eye on the homestead in the distance. There's a chuckle for the need to 'escort' the female Marines, but since it's part of the mission the Private doesn't make a joke out of it. "Aye aye." The young MP will probably make a better brother, unless someone really wants to play young couple, but he's leaving that decision up to the women. Leander tightens the straps on his pack, then falls in with the column to move down toward the town.

After the netting is up and the area has been scanned, Max takes a moment to really look around. He grew up in a rural area like this… on a farm no less. It's a real head over heels down memory lane for him. His lack of closure with his family is brought back into sharp focus for him. Maybe that is why he's not paying attention to the task at hand. He looks over when Lleu starts talking tactics. His mind drawn back to the moment at hand. He takes a moment to look over the layout of the town from where they are situated. He makes mental note of the building and the layout, at least what he can see. Conditions of the roads. Having a way out is sometimes more important that managing a way in. Max flexes his right hand, rolling his shoulder some. The chill is not helping. He looks up towards Lleu when the order comes to split into teams and he nods. "Gunny." he says in reply and then gets his pack on his shoulder and waits to see if he is paired up or not.

Atticus smiles back to Emily, then helps sort out the cammo netting, leaving the more technical job of sorting the perimeter to those who've actually had marine training. He's glad to have solid earth under his boots again as they walk, but keeps hismelf veyr much to the middle of the group, close enough to Lleu that he can advise as required, but far enough back that he's not going ot get in the way if shit goes down. As the order comes to pair up he finds himself next to Randy and tilts his head slsightly to silently ask her if she needs a brother. He's more comfortable with brother certainly. His focus is then drawn ahead to the talk of Militia. He has to force himself to hunch a little as he doens't want to give away that he's most used to commanding such troops, not sneaking past them incognito.

Pairing up didn't seem like a terribly bad idea but Avery glances towards the others as they start pairing up. It leaves her possibly with the one who seemed not too keen on flying. A tentative smile goes towards Maxwell then Leander. "I'm available for a pairing, if either of you want to." She doesn't really know people so well, so she's just throwing that out there as she hitches up her backpack that isn't issue at all. It's a plain jane sort of pack that could hold anything from groceries to books for school. Or med supplies for a disguised Corpsman. She follows what Lleu says though she isn't real talkative.

"Uh, cousin-brother. My parents died," Randy says with a nod up to Atticus, setting their story straight quickly and making the decision all in one go. That might explain why Randy and Atticus don't look alike.

"All right," Leander offers Avery and agreeable nod. "You're my older sister and your husband died last winter?" he suggests. Hey, at least they both have blue eyes and fair hair. The Private has an accent that is obviously rural-Leonese, and hiding that doesn't seem to be a viable option. "I'll try not to talk much," he volunteers.

Lleufer puts out a hand to Emily's shoulder to indicate she can stay close to him, "My young wife." That way he doesn't have to pull off his wedding band, right? Then they are heading into town, the group breaking up into spaced out clumps of twos or threes as they come from the woods and onto the road, here or there so they don't come out at the same time nor from the same place. But not spread far apart either, still within shouting distance as they walk. The Gunny walks relaxed, scuffing his boots a bit to pick up road dust. He seems relaxed and acts a little tired as though coming into town after a day's work.

Moving down the road, they find themselves walking on asphalt. A real road that still has the yellow stripes down the center. There are plenty of potholes and large cracks where the grass has begun growing through, but this is a surprise that the Marines can't help but notice. Nobody here has seen a paved street on the Colonies since they got trapped in the core. Apparently the Skath haven't gotten out this far with ripping up the old infrastructure. Its certainly not as comfortable as walking on pine needles, but the solid underfoot has its own comforts.

Getting to the edge of Piper Crossing's north tip, they are moving south and have the lumberyard on the left and a line of homes stretched back into the woods on the right. The few people out on their porches or outside stop and look at the group. And the population cannot possibly be 900. It is perhaps half that, which means that the new faces will stick out even more. One of the men steps off his porch and begins following them at a casual pace. Meanwhile the three militiamen seem to pay the Marines no mind, talking among themselves about one of the girls in town. As they continue past, they can see three more militiamen and a knight sitting on his horse at the main junction. Seven total, including the knight who has a sidearm. Families move about on their business around the group, some of them stopping to look but the mothers seem intent on ignoring the Marines like the locals know these people are trouble.

Atticus tenses as he sees the knight, but keeps his head down, focusing his attention on walking casually and not drawing attention to himself. At a point when he's sure there aren't any locals close enough to overhear he says quietly to Randy, "something is up. They're here to secure the place, make it 'safe' for someone coming after. Cleric perhaps, more militia. Someone is expected though, and they're here to pacify things first. An advanced party." Probably explains why the locals seem wary, and he shuts up again as they pass another family group heading across their path.

Emily watches Atticus go to Randy and looks down, then over to Lleufer. The smile grows a he calls her wife. "Of course, Sergeant. Miss Emily Ynyr, pleased." There's even a bit of a curtsey with it before they all move off. She walks in the proper place, just a little behind him to his left. She does glance to a few people who are staring at them but doesn't say anything. Walking past the militiamen, that pistolgrip is a nice comfort in her right hand. And wherever Lleu goes, she will follow.

As they come into town, Lleufer eases off to the side to approach a couple of fellas who don't look to be militia. "Hey." He keeps his baritone low, "The ranch house we worked at burned. We need lodging and a market for food. You know anyone looking for hands? The mill up the way need folk?" An attempt is made to try and sound vaguely Picon accented but not over do it. He ignores Emily, aware of her position while she'll wait.

"Sister it is." Though Avery is basically 49 she looks twenty years younger than that. A nod at the mention of her imaginary husband being dead last winter. It was good to have a back story in place. Her own accent was Picon all the way but she can manage to try and disguise it some, trying it out now. "His name was Simon," she inputs quietly, not that the information is likely needed but it was good to have just in case. Keeping her head down, she more watches her steps and lets her 'brother' lead the way.

Randy sticks to a demure posture, eyes down, hands properly held, the works. She sneaks a peek at Emily first to pick up little details before they make their debut in front of the townspeople, militia, and knight. As soon as Atticus starts talking to her, Randy signals Lleu with a brief look of her eyes, so he can zero in on what they are saying with his enhanced hearing. "How long does it usually take to 'pacify' a place before the main party shows up?" she asks Atticus softly with a minimal movement of her mouth. Even if no one's watching, even if they have a safe angle, it's better to be safe than sorry.

Leander gives a quick nod for the name Avery gives. "Simon. Got it." Then he walks along with the group, a pace ahead of his 'big sister,' looking around the town as they pass. The working lumberyard gets a careful study, but otherwise he's just taking in the sights while Lleufer has a word with some of the townsmen. Should he happen to meet the gaze of any of the locals, he offers a friendly smile and a nod. He's more careful /not/ to meet the gaze of the armed militia.

Max, the new guy, ends up being the odd man out. He's okay with that just the same. He's new to this team and for the most part is trying to keep an eye on everyone and everything. He trails along with the others and watches and listens, but does his best to keep to himself. He watches the militia and the knight for anything that looks like a threat and then he looks back towards the team again making sure that he is not lagging behind them too far.

"There's no single answer to that," Atticus notes quietly. "I can't tell anything from their number as that an entirely standard party. Could be tomorrow, could be a fortnight." He's itching for his sword, but it's probably a good thing he doesn't have it as the temptation to use it would be strong. Grasping his hands to his belt he is thankful for his gloves as he waits to see what kind of a response Lleu is going to get from teh locals.

The guy who began following the group from the edge doesn't approach the militia but instead goes into a shop to talk to someone. Inside its dark and hard to tell just what is going on. Meanwhile as Lleufer approaches the group of men, then look over him and his young 'wife', then back to him. "The mill?" One of them hisses. "Gods-a-mighty, don't even say that word around the militia." The other two look uncomfortable, like they might walk away. "They came in and just shut it down last week. They're lookin' for anyone who got it back running. Its best if you don't go alerting them to any interest unless you want your wife to be a young widow. If you all want lodging and food, just head up the street here and keep your heads down. I wouldn't stick around, though. The militia isn't leaving this time. People are gettin' scared."

It was difficult to not look at the militia without looking like you're doing exactly that. Not looking at the militia. Still, Avery keeps her head dipped slightly and walks just back from Leander, a glance cast around slightly to those nearest her. Even the locals don't get to catch her eye as she avoids pretty much everyone except those she'd been on the Raptor with.

<FS3> Atticus rolls Alertness: Good Success.

<FS3> Lleufer rolls Alertness: Great Success.

<FS3> Randy rolls Alertness: Good Success.

<FS3> Maxwell rolls Alertness: Great Success.

<FS3> Avery rolls Alertness: Good Success.

<FS3> Leander rolls Alertness: Good Success.

Rather than turn his head to look back at Randy and Atticus, Lleu reaches around to tug his cloak looser from under his pack and gives her a subtle hand signal that he got it. A glance up the street towards the direction of the mill and back to the fella who answered him, "Ah. Well, I'm better suited to work'n cattle anyway." He frowns at the rest of the news and gives a faint nod. "Appreciate it." Ynyr turns and starts up the street in the direction indicated and starts looking for what might pass for an inn for lodging, or somewhere they could get something to eat. A good place to get off the street and maybe engage a few of the locals in some quiet talk, if they are lucky.

As they progress steadily closer to where the knight and the second batch of militia are, Atticus takes a moment to study the mounted man from under the hood of his cloak. It's a shame Randy is behind him and can't see the faintly puzzelled expression the crosses his face, to then be replaced by one of mild concern. Turning, as if to instruct her on something he lets his hands gesticulate as if he's found some fault with her that needs remonstrating, but says instead, "whoever they're expecting is important, that is a high ranking knight." Then, turning back as if his chastisement is over, he makes to follow Lleufer, eyes checking left and right for an inn.

Max tilts his head to one side and scratches behind his ear… in doing so, takes a little closer look at the man who went into the shop. He keeps his glance short and he then runs his hands though his hair and takes just a little wider strides and draws up just a touch closer to Lleu. He says under his breath, almost a whisper. "Got a fan club forming in the store." he informs the Gunny. "Looks like three." he says and then pauses, bending down, messing with his boot laces a moment and then starts off again after the others. He moves along with the others, drawing in back to his place in the group heading towards the inn.

Randy catches the signal from Lleu easily enough. They've worked together for years and their most recent work has included a lot more of these kinds of undercover recons. She uses a cough to disguise a brief nod and lowered eye contact to Emily for a moment just before Atticus turns. She nods, keeping her eyes down as if receiving instruction, her shoulders hunched and head hung with shame. Her almost whispered tone, just vocal enough for Lleu to pick up though she's directing it at Atticus, "I'm sorry…sorry. Two militia, drunk." Again she looks to see if Lleufer got the message as if they've set up a little relay going. The men are the ones that can do the most recon under watchful eyes. Randy listens more than she looks. She listens hard.

Avery continues to walk closer to her pretend brother but listens to the others she's within earshot of. She even has something small to contribute. "Contrary to the briefing," she says quietly, "Everyone looks healthy. Like they are used to heavy and hard work and no one is sickly like we were briefed to expect." It was odd, she hands off the information though so it can be added with any other observations and maybe help out in the long run. Again, her pack is hitched up but her steps remain steady.

Emily hears what is being said about the Mill and the militia, then Atticus speaks up about the horse and knight. She looks over at him and her expression is grave. There's a glance to the families strolling aorund, then back to Atticus. When Lleu moves, however she will too.

Leander follows along as they head further into town, side-eyeing a trio of militia as the group passes. There's a smirk for something he notes, but it's quickly hidden. There's a nod for Avery's observation, and if necessary he relays it up the line as soon as there's no risk of being overheard. "Those three militia we passed look pretty soft too," he adds. "Guards maybe, but not fighters."

The group proceeds down the street in the direction they were pointed and finding the cafe isn't hard. It seems that there isn't much the other direction except the mill's equipment rising above the treetops in the distance. With the cafe is a general store, a livery, leatherworks, mortuary.. And two buildings look recently burned. One of them looks like it was a brick police station. The recent charr is still in the air. The second looks like it was the town's religious temple, looking like it was toppled quite some time ago. All in all, this looks like a healthy place to live except for the destruction and militia.

Entering into the cafe, which has been more turned into a bar, the people inside look at the new arrivals and conversations stop. Not a single person ignores them. All faces aim at the group of Marines in their costumes. The bartender, a man in his late sixties, stares at the group as he plants both hands on the bar, sizing up the group.

A slight nod to Maxwell, "Kind we want to talk to or kind we want to avoid? We'll stick our noses into the inn or whatever we find up ahead. Then we can head south-east and check out the next town. Might be less tense, there." Not so close to the mill. A moment later he's going up the steps to the door of what looks a likely place for more news and he opens the door. Instead of holding the door for Emily, he goes right in as if he expects her to keep up behind him and heads for the bar. "Ranch I worked for burned. You know of anyone look'n for hands here or around Kolwyn?" Ynyr leans against the bar like he's tired and been walking all day. "Guess you all have'n some excitement, I hear." His baritone is kept low.

Atticus keeps his head down as they enter the inn. These aren't his old lands, but he's still a touch paranoid about any posibility of him being recognised. Logically there isn't any, and if anything Emily is vastly more at risk, but logic does work on those feelings at the put of his stomach. As Lleu heads for the bar he tries not to look too uncomfortable with all the locals staring at him but is forced to turn to Randy as the eyes become just a little too much. "What do I call you, by the way sister-cousin? If we're questioned I should know." It's muttered, voice kept very carefully low as he knows her ears can pick up much more than the locals.

Leander gives another nod and smile to the folks inside the saloon. Doesn't make sense to pretend they're not being stared at. Once they're he steps aside, waving Avery to follow him. A few steps puts him out of the path to the door, but not too far, and hopefully near a window with a view of the street. And there he loiters, trying not to look like he's keeping watch.

The bartender and everyone else just stare at the group when Lleu says that he's from a ranch that burned and he's looking for work. "Is that so?" the bartender finally drawls, staring right at Lleufer. "So ya'll come from one ranch that's just further up in the mountains?" Nobody here looks like they believe that. Anyone close enough to the bartender can see long scars on his arms, decades old. "Yeah, militia rolled into town. Presents from King Daniel of Easton. We're very appreciative of their presence." The dry tone of his voice hits deadpan. "I suppose you're settlers? King Daniel send you as well?"

There's a pause as he listens to what comes over his radio and he frowns as if he were thinking about what the barman's said. "No, he didn't send /us/. But more are coming." Lleufer keeps it low though so the whole place doesn't hear him. "They are burning whole towns. Why'd you think they are doing that? Diplacing a lot of people. We're only the first to trail in, but they're heading up this way." Ynyr idly fingers something on the bar, watching the barkeep while hopefully the rest of his group may try to chat up others. There's a glance to Avery and a flick of his eyes to suggest she should spread the news quietly to the team, since he knows she's got a radio too.

Avery doesn't add anything to the conversation, she's kind of being blah at the moment, concealing herself really was sort of difficult. With Leander, she finds a place nearby the window but stiffens slightly, not at the conversation had but something only she can hear with Lleu. There's a glance his way, catching his eye and she leans in to quietly speak to Leander after sort of beckoning Maxwell over, to share the news to him at the same time, about something, relaying the information as she'd been instructed. "A militia on horseback a week out, razing towns as they head this way." Very soft spoken as the bartender talks, so her own voice can't be heard by anyone else.

Keeping an eye out the window as he loiters, Leander is doing his best to act bored. The young MP's brows go up as Avery shifts her posture, and when he sees her beckon to Maxwell he repeats the gesture, as if it was his idea all along. Hey, he gets to beckon at a Sergeant. This mission isn't all bad. Then he leans in to hear what Avery has to say, gives a nod, and glances toward the bar to see how the Gunney is taking this news.

Anyone watching outside can see a group of three people gather across the street in front of the burned police station. They're looking into the cafe's glass windows from over there, speaking. Someone else joins them and quickly looks the same direction. A couple of the men in the cafe have noticed that people outside are staring. And when Lleu mentions that there are more coming and burning towns, the men rise from their chairs and begin to edge in closer. They don't look happy about that sort of news. When this happens the bartender rises off his lean and crosses his arms, looking at the group. "You all are saying that to the wrong folks. We're liable to take that as a threat. You are telling us that we have a week before Dan's Boys come into our town and burn it? Godsdamn, you people aren't from around here. Dan doesn't displace people." And the townspeople inside the cafe seem to think that this sort of delivery of news is coming from potential threats. "You got about two seconds before we drag you out back and throw you in that frozen current."

Max does not readily add anything to the conversation at hand. He is confident that things are either going to get smoothed over or there is going to be an issue and nothing he has to say right now is going to make a difference on either side of that equation. When the tone turns unfriendly he tenses just slightly, ready to move if he needs to. He keeps his eyes moving from person to person. Nothing in the hands… everyone gets to go home.

Leander may not have a lot of practical experience with riot control, but he's had the training. That group across the street? That's a potential mob. And the mood at the bar doesn't look much better. Once The Corpsman has relayed the word to Maxwell and himself, Leander adds in a quick bit to the Marine Sergeant. "We've got a crowd gathering across the street," he whispers. "Could be trouble."

"Maybe it's not Dan's people. There are other Kingdoms and sometimes they fight." Lleufer eyes the street, "You're right. We aren't from around here. Don't want any trouble with you so we'll go." The Gunny turns and puts an arm around Emily's shoulders to turn her towards the door, then gestures to the others to head out as well. Assuming nobody here is going to try to stop them. They still have another town to scope out if they can get there.

Yeah things had been trouble since they'd entered the Inn and Avery does her best to look the opposite of what she is feeling. Uneasy. Hands stay in plain sight, not wanting to incite any hostile vibes her way, she absently tugs a lock of her hair in a conscious effort to draw any hostilities away from her. Hey, she's just the medic. With the gesture from Lleu, Avery follows, but only after Leander does, a few paces back like before. Max is included this time, giving him someone to walk with as well, the trio could all be related if necessary.

Having loitered near the doorway, and doing her level best to blend in with the rest of the people in the room, Palermo has her cloak casually drawn around her shoulders and pinned in place. A cloak, as always, covers a multitude of sins, like weapons or gear. She's skimming the room with a sweeping look and only eases back toward the door once the rest of the team begins to withdraw.

"Maybe, or maybe he just likes to burn towns and kill people. Because it's happening." Lleufer eyes the street, "You're right. We aren't from around here." The Gunny looks back to the barkeep, trying to get a read on the man's tone. Pro King Danny or against. "We'll leave right now if you want us to, or … we can try to help you." Yep, his baritone is real low.

The crowd in the bar edges closer, seemingly not afraid of a couple guys and their women. Especially if they aren't from this area. Towns like this? Outsiders will always be suspect. The bartender reaches under the bar and takes out a heavy bat with some mean looking red stains on the business end of the tool. He steps around the side of the bar. The group outside is growing larger and its only going to be a matter of time before the Knight notices. Lleu's offering of help, though, gets teh bartender to temporarily halt his advance. "And how exactly are you and couple of soft women going to help us if you ain't even from around here? You come from the lowlands where everyone farms and pretends like this is always the way it was? Kiss Danny's ring, tell him you'll never betray his Kingdom?" A couple of the women in the cafe stand from their tables too, clenching their fists. They don't look like they're ready to be 'property'.

The baseball bat doesn't phase him. Lleu looks at it, leans against the bar again like he's not worried about it and he's not, yet. He slowly glances over the others in the bar, this being a bit more loud and more people at once than he was hoping to feel out. So he looks back at the barkeep and keeps his voice low as before, "Because we can get you off planet. Away from the Skath. I'm look'n for folk who don't love the Machines. You can't stay and fight their riders who are coming. They'll burn this town to the ground within the week. Rather get as many of you out of here as we can, but not if any of you are going to tip them off. So what's it going to be? You going to lower your voice or are -we-, and our women, going to have to shoot you?" This is offered real, real low but those who are close enough can hear him. Just lay it out since it's start'n to look ugly.

All those people on their feet closing in on the bar? That sends Leander's hand snaking under his cloak. He's not going to draw unless the order is given, or there's clearly no other choice, but he's damn well going to be ready. And then the Gunnery Sergeant drops the truth bomb. Oh. Frak. The MP's eyes widen and he shares a look with Avery and Maxwell. Then he quickly sizes up the locals nearest him, trying to decide how to deal with them if this goes south.

It sure wasn't looking pretty in here. The hostilities were pretty palpable but Avery keeps her cool, except when her jaw firms and she casts a killer look towards the speaker who calls her soft. There's fire in her eyes but she says not a word despite it being there on the tip of her tongue. Even her hands remain out in the open except one hand that rests on the strap to her backpack. Lleu had the conversation, it wasn't her place to add anything more and so she doesn't. She does keep her stance ready to go into full on Marine rawr should the Gunny need backup, but for now she waits. Catching the look from Leander given to her and Maxwell, there's a hint of a smile. It holds zero amusement but a ton of willful intention, should the need arise.

Emily notices a couple of them approaching Lleufer from the side and she backs up one step from the Gunnery Sergeant. Hand still under her cloak, she faces the men and looks up at them. There's no visible movement otherwise, but there's a very distinctive -click- when she flicks the safety off her sidearm.

Maxwell looks left and right and in one motion wraps his arm into the folds of his cloak getting his hand on his sidearm. One of them anyway. He too flips the safety off with a telltale 'click'. He looks at the other members of his team and gives almost an imperceptible nod of his head… indicating that he is good to go if it should turn into that kinda situation. He remains quiet for time being, just as before since there are enough people making enough noise as it is.

Leaning one shoulder against the wall nearest the door, Palermo has her hands tucked beneath the cloak and stands in a position that allows a clear look at the room at large while also giving her the edge to hear anything that might be coming through the door. "Your homes, your shops, your land, your families?" her words are clear but quietly spoken, and her Caprican accent may not be a familiar sound, but it marks her all the same. "None of that, save for your families, have been yours since the Skath took over. How many worlds have to die, how many people have to be made homeless, left to wander with only the memory of what was once home and hearth?"

The two guys closest to Leander stop when he reaches under his cloak like that. They know what that means - Leander is armed. "Al, I reckon these boys are armed," one keenly observes in the direction of the bartender. "You better have something bigger'n a dagger in that cloak," the other snickers. Meanwhile a couple other guys are closing in on Avery, Emily, and Lleufer. Seeing the fire in Avery's eyes gives them pause and there's a bit of hesitation. That's NOT something they see every day, but the interesting thing is that there seems to be some respect for it. And when they hear Emily's safety flick off, they stop. Then they grin and look to Avery, "You ladies armed?" It isn't an amusement so much as a restrained enthusiasm. The woman and man approaching Maxwell both stop at hearing the click from his sidearm, too. They both know that sound. Everyone in this room is well old enough to have held down a job before the Skath arrived. Some, including the bartender, are old enough to have been veterans of the Second War. If the Skath had never arrived likely these people would be more at home on a fatboy motorcycle than horses. Palermo's words get them all to look at her after Lleu speaks up. The bartender gently bounces the bat on the edge of the bar, tapping twice, looking at Palermo. "Tall words. We're not buying snake oil. If you're talking about fighting for our land, that's all we've done for twenty years. You show up in here two minutes ago. You done anything in particular?" He looks at Lleufer, then, "Got any proof? Or should we just take your word that you are good for it? People still find guns. Its another to use them."

Avery takes the advantage, the people were at least willing to talk and she uses the moment to take the safety off her own handgun with a muted click beneath the cloak she wears. The question of whether the ladies are armed or not very definitively answered. A smile is even flashed towards the asker of the question. "No one is trying to sell you something we can't back up. How can you know what we say is true? You can't. You just have to trust us."

Leander's eyes lock on to the man making the keen observation. He'd rather not shoot the guy, but he will. After listening to how things seem to be playing out, he spares a glance back out to the street. "Crowd gathering across the street. Militia are going to notice," he calls out to Lleufer. He's not pretending to be a Picon civilian anymore, but rather a soldier reporting in. A soldier with a Leonese accent. He'll leave talking to the locals to the NCOs.

Emily stares at the two guys who have stopped approaching her and Avery. Her left hand opens the cloak just enough to show that her skirt has been drawn up and tucked under a pistol belt on her right hip. Her hand is holding a sidearm still in the holster, retaining strap flicked off. The camo pants and boots are hard to mistake. The cloak then comes back closed.

Yes, his people have got his back. Nice feeling, that. Lleufer eyes these people and then reaches up to pull off his leather cap, "You're not going to make me dig out my contact lenses, are you? My hands are dirty and you haven't even offered me a drink yet." He glances around at his people but most of his attention is on these gents who aren't friendly, "We already lifted people off of Piraeus. But if you want off of Picon and out of the Colonies, we're going to need your help. How many militia and knights are in town? Any more than we saw out in the street just now?" Pointy eared Demon has reached into his own garb and now fingers a grenade with the pin still in it. "We're running out of time. Shall I walk out there and toss this under the knight's horse to get the party started?" Poor horse.

Maxwell stands his ground, confident that he can handle whatever might come his way, at least for the moment. When the advance of the bad folk stalls he slips his other hand behind his back slowly. His grenades and his other sidearm are back there… better to err on the side of blowing stuff up, right?

"Now I know I should've brought a LAV unit with us," Palermo grumbles in a voice that carries. "A few well placed artillery rounds and those knights would be scattered like bowling pins."

The two guys looking at Avery weren't expecting that reply to their question. Emily gives one, though, and they both take a step back away from her before looking back to Avery, "We should just trust you that Daniel's militia is coming here to kill us and take our land? And you offer no proof? We should just leave based on faith?" They seem dubious to that. Leander's accent definitely grabs some attention, though, and people look at him. "Aw hell, its Mikey and his idiots," one woman mutters. Even as she says it a few more people have gathered and the Knight on his horse turns to see the crowd string at the cafe. The knight begins riding the direction of the crowd. Al, the Bartender, looks at the group gathering and then back at Lleu. "What the hell do you need conta- no, I'm not asking you to take those out. Where did you-" How do people even get contact lenses anymore? "There's seven of 'em. The Knight doesn't say much, just slaps the girls around. He knows our grown women will break his wrist." Annnd then there's a grenade. That gets a lot of attention. Al levels his eyes at Lleufer, "Well big boy, don't show me a ring like that, propose them beautiful things, then do nothing about it." The man's dry delivery makes one wonder if he's serious. "You kill them boys and show us how you got here or intend to get our of here, we got something to talk about." The guy closest to Palermo glances outside, then back. "Maybe. You got artillery?"

Lleufer kind of expected his Arpay ears being uncovered would get more reaction than that. He puts his leather cap back on, "You are all being a harder sell than usual. Recon isn't supposed to get loud and messy, damn it. Get my Gunnery Sergeant's stripes ripped off my hide." Ynyr turns and motions for his people to head out, "Let's take it outside. No need to be messing up the pretty establishment." His cap secured back on his head and tugged down Jayne fashion well over his pointy ears, Lleufer puts the grenade out of sight. Might be too many people clustered to use it. "Let's go out quiet like and get close. Things about o get bloody." Not ideal but it'll make an impression all right. The door he pushes open and Lleufer walks on out to the street to go and find that knight, easy as you please like he's just going back out to ask for directions again.

A sudden grin blooms on Palermo's face as she moves to follow the gunny back through the door, pausing long enough to reach out and pat the guy on the shoulder. "Buddy, if I had artillery with me, I'd need a much better disguise than this. I'm a marine, not a magician. Though," again that faintly cocky grin, "starts with the same letter, doesn't it?" and then she's moving along in Lleu's wake, long legged strides that eat up the ground without the pretense of mincing along.

"Knight is riding this way," Leander warns. "Two minutes tops." He's keeping an eye out while he listens to Avery talking with the locals near the door. There's a glance towards Maxwell as the Sergeant reaches behind his back, and Leander looks around the bar to see if things are getting better or worse. Slightly better? At least it looks like they may end up fighting enemies and not potential friendlies. And then Palermo's commenting about artillery and her LAV-love and the young MP chuckles. But he's back to business as soon as Lleufer gives instructions, and the Private takes his hand off his weapon and moves out with the rest of the team.

Max gets the head nod from Lleu and he starts to back away from their admirers slowly. He keeps his back towards his own people and his eye on their hosts. He doesn't turn until everyone is at the door and he is ready to step outside. He turns at the point and he says very quietly to Lleu. "Got a pair of those tucked away as well." he says of the grenade. He looks left and right towards the team, falling into step near Palermo as if asking, just in case anyone else wants one. He's willing to share.

"Guess not. You'll know soon enough but remember, by then it may be too late." The comment tossed out to the man speaking with her. It's a different Avery that leaves than came inside and she strides out after the others with a determined purpose, jaw set, serious face on and nothing cowed down about her. Her chin lifts slightly and she keeps a hand tucked beneath her cloak while the other is every present on that backpack strap.

As the group starts filing back out the door, a couple of the men and one of the women who actually noticed Lleu's ears look at each other. "Is he Arpay?" "Lords n Ladies, Jenny, heck no. All the Arpay are dead. Right? The Skath killed 'em. ..I think?" More words are exchanged on it while Al pours himself a drink and watches the windows from the same position at the bar. "They're either actual Marines or a bunch of dead idiots claiming to be Marines. I sure as hell wouldn't tell anyone I was a current Colonial Marine unless I was hiding frags and guns under cloaks." Al smirks.ooc ; thwaps lleu

As the group starts filing back out the door, a couple of the men and one of the women who actually noticed Lleu's ears look at each other. "Is he Arpay?" "Lords n Ladies, Jenny, heck no. All the Arpay are dead. Right? The Skath killed 'em. ..I think?" More words are exchanged on it while Al pours himself a drink and watches the windows from the same position at the bar. "They're either actual Marines or a bunch of dead idiots claiming to be Marines. I sure as hell wouldn't tell anyone I was a current Colonial Marine unless I was hiding frags and guns under cloaks." Al smirks.

Meanwhile as the group steps out onto the street, the people across it have massed up to about ten to twelve gawkers checking out the unknown faces. They're all openly talking about it and even gesturing. A few other families on the streets see the group, and the people gesturing, and then the knight. It is as if they can see the coming trainwreck and they rush off. The Knight has definitely taken note of this and looks between the gawkers and the costumed Marines. He aims a finger at Lleufer, then Maxwell. "You two. Still yourselves and your group and tell me your business in Piper Crossing." The two drunk militiamen have stopped in the middle of the street and appear to be debating whether or not they should disappear. The other four cannot be seen at the moment and are likely around the corner.

<FS3> Lleufer rolls Firearms: Success.

<FS3> Maxwell rolls Firearms: Good Success.

<FS3> Emily rolls 5-3: Success.

<FS3> Maxwell rolls 5: Great Success.

<FS3> Avery rolls 5: Good Success.

With the pistol held beneath the draped layer of the cloak thats worn over her attire, Palermo is tracking the movement of the Knight and the two drunk militiamen who are standing in the middle of the street. As much fun as a moving target would be, she doesn't mind terribly much that they aren't making this a genuine challenge and as soon as the Gunny and Sgt. Knight engage the enemy Knight she picks one of the two drunken sods and fires a rapid trio of rounds.

When Lleufer goes to fire, Emily steps out from behind him and stays next to Palermo. "Its just like being at the range." Suddenly this is all very real and very terrifying for Emily. She's about to actively join the fight. For real. Its no longer paper targets, videos, and lectures. Her legs feel like lead all of a sudden, but her arms already know what to do. Draw, point, click. Standing beside Palermo, she fires three controlled shots at a target. Nothing rapid fire or super cool, but smooth like at the range. Her target cries out in pain and she blinks, staring at him. "Dear me, I shot him!" she blathers out like its a surprise. Standing more rigid like a royal, she smiles and then suddenly flinches as someone shoots at them. The squeak is the sort of embarrassing sound you don't ever want anyone else to remember.

Yynr gestures to his people to spread out a little and not clump up. Lleufer's heading right out into the street and looks for the knight on his horse, and the militia. He walks like nothing is amiss and he doesn't stop when told to be still, but he does answer as he pulls out his sidearm, "Our business is to ruin your King's plans for this town." You know, walking right up to Clerics in the street, he had Knox with him. Lleu may be pushing his luck to expect it to hold out again. BLAM goes his Arpay pistol, aimed for the knight's chest. A combination of the Knight shifting in his saddle and the horse suddenly throwing it's head up and moving almost makes the Gunny's shot miss - but not quite! All hell starts to break loose in the street at once.

Max slips his sidearm out of it's holster, keeping it out of sight beneath the cloak he is wearing. He keeps a close eye on the others and when Lleu goes for the knight, he follows suit and draws his Mark 23. He aims and takes a shot at the knight. His aim is spot on, center mass. He never stops scanning in case there are additional threats…

Leander gets out into the street and does a quick count of bad guys. The Knight and the two drunk guys with swords against eight armed Marines? This should be over quickly. Seeing the gesture from Lleu to form a skirmish line, he moves further across the road. But there are four or five more of militia out there, and Leander recalls those three they passed on the way in. As the guns come out, so does his own, and the Private scoots forward with his pistol at the low ready, heading for the corner where he can see down the cross street. Leander makes a quick check to make sure there arent' reinforcements incoming around the corner, but that's all he has time for before the shooting starts. Ducking back, he sees wounded militia making a run for it, so he takes a bead on one of the fleeing men and opens fire.

Max slips his sidearm out of it's holster, keeping it out of sight beneath the cloak he is wearing. He keeps a close eye on the others and when Lleu goes for the knight, he follows suit and draws his Mark 23. He aims and takes a shot at the knight. His aim is spot on, center mass. He never stops scanning in case there are additional threats… He looks to his left as the knight topples from his saddle, Max knows he is down but likely not out… he never sees the shot coming. The impact of the bullet in his side was stunning, a wave a nausea hit him hard, like being sucker punched in the guts by lead glove wrapped around a brick.

Yeah, everyone spread out, the medic takes cover for now. As well as she can anyway. Then the shooting breaks out and instead of reaching for her pistol, Avery reaches for her pack, unslinging it from her shoulders and bringing it front and center, watching her own people, the men and women. The Marines. With her game face on she drags her hair back out of her face and expertly slaps it into control in a messy sort of bun. As soon as she realizes one of the men is shot, she's on her feet and running into the fray, not with weapon drawn, but her supplies at the ready, adrenaline already rushing through her. This is what she was born for.

<FS3> Lleufer rolls Firearms: Great Success.

<FS3> Avery rolls First Aid: Good Success.

<COMBAT> Leander attacks Militia1 with Pistol Ap - Moderate wound to Head.

<COMBAT> Palermo attacks Militia2 with Pistol AP - Light wound to Left Leg.

<COMBAT> Emily attacks Militia1 with Pistol AP - Serious wound to Chest.

<COMBAT> Militia1 has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Militia2 has been KO'd!

Emily, joined now by Leander also, see's him start giving chase. So she does too! Its exciting and Emily totally is -not- caught up in the moment. No, she's just being tactical backup… sure. She runs with Leander and gets a fourth round off and his him dead center over the lung. She approaches the corner where the Knights had been standing and waits for the others.

Things happen fast! Maxwell's shot goes off at Lleu's flank and the knight falls from the saddle, the horse likely skittish and bolting out of the way. But the downed Knight isn't killed outright and has a surprise for them! Ynyr sees the man get a shot off, and not yet aware that Max has been hit, Lleu grimly steps up and points his firearm down and finishes off the Skath servant at nearly point blank range! The pops and cracks of firearms go off around him and the Gunnery Sergeant moves, "Find cover, people!" He starts to run, looking around to see where the militia men have gone, when he realizes Maxwell has been hit. Avery's already rushing towards the injured man, "Get him under cover!" Soon as he can, Lleufer is running to stop the militia men from getting away.

The sound of a bullet hitting you is a sound that you will never, ever forget. Ever. The high velocity slug slams into side of his vest. It's at the joint between two of the soft panels. The slug comes apart and some is caught in the vest, the rest buries itself in Max's side. The impact sends him on a quarter spin and to a knee. "Frakfrakfrakfrak." he wheezes. Trying to catch his breath. His right hand still holds his sidearm, his left goes to the impact point. Blood is already seeping through the shredded vest under his shirt. "Ow… son of a…" he looks at his bloody hand and starts to muscle through getting back to his feet. He is Lleu's backup and he is damn well going to do his job… hot little flying pieces of metal be damned.

The sound of a bullet hitting you is a sound that you will never, ever forget. Ever. The high velocity slug slams into side of Max's vest. It's at the joint between two of the soft panels. The slug comes apart and some is caught in the vest, the rest buries itself in Max's side. The impact sends him on a quarter spin and to a knee. "Frakfrakfrakfrak." he wheezes. Trying to catch his breath. His right hand still holds his sidearm, his left goes to the impact point. Blood is already seeping through the shredded vest under his shirt. "Ow… son of a…" he looks at his bloody hand and starts to muscle through getting back to his feet. He is Lleu's backup and he is damn well going to do his job… hot little flying pieces of metal be damned.

Seeing the runners, Leander takes off after them without hesitation. "Make a hole!" the young Marine yells to the bystanders. If there were anyone out there with a firearm shooting back this would not be a good plan. Fortunately these poor bastards only have swords. After a short dash he reaches the middle of the road and has a clear shot. Leander raises his pistol and fires; the bullet hits one of the militiamen, who is looking back, in the side of jaw. It makes a mess of his face, but it's probably not immediately fatal. But combined with Emily's shot, it's more than a drunk militaman can take. One down.

"Good shot, steady hands," Renee's words are both compliment and advice and are calmly but clearly spoken as she moves in tandem with Emily. Another of those sweeping looks is aimed around and times it just right to see Max get hit as more of the team opens fire, then factors in Avery leaping into action. She tracks the movements of her target, pistol steady in a two handed grip only to swear in a tone of surprise when Leander then Emily give chase. Their actions necessitate hers and she follows, firing as she does so.

Wanna bet? Avery gets to Max when he's trying to get to his feet and she does assist him in doing so but that's it, there's no pursuit of Lleu allowed through this Corpsman. "We're getting you behind cover." The words are ground out between clenched teeth, "Gunny's orders." Just in case he had doubts about that or something. She drag/leads him over behind something between the threat and safety and with a wry look she just 'digs in' to gauge his wound. "Just steady yourself or you'll lose more blood. Breathe calm." Easier said than done, surely, but she has a gentleness to her touch despite the rushed, frantic situation around them. "Let me do my job so I can get you back out there doing yours."

The three Marines up front hear the sound of boots on the pavement and when they turn to see who and what that is? Its the remaining four militiamen. They don't come running down the street, either. It looks like they were slinging around to flank and now run out into the street by the trio, swinging blades. Unfortunately Palermo is the closest.

<COMBAT> Palermo attacks Militia5 with Pistol AP - Serious wound to Chest.

<COMBAT> Lleufer attacks Militia4 with Pistol AP - Moderate wound to Chest.

<COMBAT> Emily attacks Militia6 with Pistol AP - Moderate wound to Abdomen.

<COMBAT> Militia3 attacks Palermo with Sword - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Militia5 attacks Palermo with Sword - Light wound to Right Leg.

<COMBAT> Militia4 attacks Palermo with Sword and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Militia6 attacks Emily with Sword and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Leander attacks Militia3 with Pistol Ap - Serious wound to Chest.

<COMBAT> Militia3 has been KO'd!

"Bring a gun to a knife fight," Renee mutters then exhaales a laugh. "Swords," and sets her stance and aim as the frakkers converge. The sudden barrage of friendly fire lets her breathe easier even as she does the only sane thing and throws herself forward into a roll, taking a glancing slice to her chest (yay armor!) and a shallow slice along one leg.

Max lets Avery give him a hand and when he drops back down to a knee he looks towards her. "Easy Doc…" he winces a little. Yep, hurts. He lays back and turns to one side so she can get to the wound. "I'm all yours." he jokes. He's been shot once before. It was worse than this. Alot. He lets Avery 'dig in' so to speak. He white knuckles the pistol his hand so hard his knuckles pop. He doesn't say anything though. She has her hands full as it was. He tries to take her advice and stay calm, focus on his breath and it seems each time he does… she pokes another nerve and he has to start over. He can already feel the warm spreading along his side from the blood escaping the wound. He is dying here… dying to get back on his feet and back into the fight. -However- that means laying still for the moment and letting Avery work her majiks.

The tactical situation takes a sudden turn for the medieval as more militia arrive with drawn swords, and Leander raises his weapon with both hands. He fires straight into the chest of one of the swordsmen heading for Palermo and the guy goes down. Then he finds one of them turning to take a swipe at him, and the MP backs off a step before snapping off a shot at the guy right in his face.

Lleufer is a bit further back from the front three - Emily, Leander, and Palermo being up ahead. For a moment he has a clear shot and he stops to quickly aim ad track on one of the militia men before he can hack at his people with a blade. The Arpay pistol goes off and Ynyr hits the man, but doesn't drop him, damn it. "Son of a bitch!" And then he's running again to get in closer, not wanting to risk accidently hitting one of his team. "This all of them, or are there more who ran off?" Lleu's got to get off to the side as he closes in, trying to line up a better angle to get a clear line of sight for a shot so he holds it, trying to track on one of the men who's still trying to cut Palermo down.

"Oh Gods, I have to say that's the best offer I've had in years." Avery teases back, her bedside manner at least somewhat approachable even as the business side is brisk and just that, all business. Focusing on his wound, she gets his cloak up and the armor moved enough to be able to take stock of what had happened. Bandages happen once she's got the bleeding under control and though she works quickly, she's very thorough and adept at her job. "Almost done." But she says that three times before she wraps another completely around him to brace and support until he can get back to sick bay. She offers out her hand. "Alright, you're as good as you're going to get out here. Ready to go back into the fray?"

Emily is probably too terrified to run when she turns to see militia running at her. The gun in her hands, she turns and barely has time to fire. One round barks off and punches through her target's armor while she sidesteps the attack. The sword whiffs past her and she huffs a breath, turning in place. For a moment, it looks like she might hesitate, a terrified glance at the rest of the blades all around her. She steps backwards and bumps into a militiaman, getting a surprised yelp, before she steps back into a shooting stance, leans forward shakily, and fires at her target.

<COMBAT> Lleufer attacks Militia4 with Pistol AP - Moderate wound to Chest.

<COMBAT> Militia5 attacks Leander with Sword - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Militia6 attacks Emily with Sword - Moderate wound to Neck.

<COMBAT> Militia4 attacks Palermo with Sword - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Leander attacks Militia5 with Pistol Ap - Critical wound to Chest.

<COMBAT> Emily attacks Militia6 with Pistol AP - Light wound to Left Leg.

<COMBAT> Palermo attacks Militia5 with Pistol AP - Light wound to Left Arm.

The militiaman's sword stabs through Leander's cloak and shreds his tunic, but the blade glances off the light armor vest under the Marines' clothing, saving him from being impaled. The follow-through leaves the man in close with the MP, so Leander fires point-blank into the swordsman's chest. *BLAM* This produces a lot of blood and a nasty exit wound on the man's back. Someone the guy is still trying to swing that sword, so Leander pulls the trigger yet again. *BLAM*

Emily gets back into stance to fire just when the sword swings around. The guy is trying to take her head right off and she does one of those handy dodge maneuvers that Randy taught her. It works, for the most part, but leaves a bladed cut across the side of her neck. The finger on the trigger fires with the feeling of pain and shoots the guy through the leg before she staggers back. One hand holding her bloody neck, she aims one handed as she staggers to the side. Her opponent laughs, seeing the fear in her eyes.

Max lets Avery finish binding wrapping his wound and he gets to a knee. "I'll have to keep that in mind." he says to her joke as he gets back to his feet. He ejects the clip from his sidearm and puts in a new one. He puts a hand lightly on Avery's shoulder. "Thanks Doc." he says to her and then, that quick, he is on the run. Ok, not his usual hells bells running… but perhaps more a brisk trot. He makes for the other members of the team, trying to assess as he makes closer to the action. He tries to divine from the chaos who is in the most need of help at the moment. He gives a heads up to Lleu though. "Back in the fight Gunny." he calls over cacophony of the fray.

Lleufer puts -another- bullet into another of the militia men and the guy staggers and almost drops, but … doesn't! Then Palermo is in the way of his line of sight, all of them moving around quickly, trying to dodge blades or get in shots, or men trying to hack them. The Gunny sees Emily bump into one of them and hears her yelp even before he sees her struck by a blade. In the neck! Lleu almost shouts her name, but no, that would distract her! He grits his teeth and shifts his position, drawing his aim on the fella trying to kill her. "No you don't, you bastard!" He knows she doesn't have any armor on under her peasant clothing!

Renee uses the momentum from the roll to carry her to her feet again, surprising one of the militia guys into taking a slice at her as she wings her target of choice again. "Just die already," is muttered as she swings a look around again and shifts targets to lend a hand, moving towards Emily as she does so.

<COMBAT> Militia6 attacks Emily with Sword - Moderate wound to Chest.

<COMBAT> Emily attacks Militia6 with Pistol AP - Light wound to Chest.

<COMBAT> Palermo attacks Militia4 with Pistol AP - Light wound to Chest.

<COMBAT> Lleufer attacks Militia6 with Pistol AP - Moderate wound to Chest.

<COMBAT> Militia5 attacks Leander with Sword but Leander DODGES!

<COMBAT> Militia4 attacks Palermo with Sword but Palermo DODGES!

<COMBAT> Leander attacks Militia5 with Pistol Ap - Moderate wound to Neck.

<COMBAT> Emily has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Militia4 has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Militia5 has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Emily spends a luck point to keep fighting!

<COMBAT> Avery treats Emily:

Leander side-steps as the badly-wounded militiaman stumbles at him with a last, desperate sword swing that goes wide into the dirt. The MP pivots and levels his pistol, aiming for the back of the man's head. The bullet hits the back of the neck, which is more than enough to put him down for good. Seeing no bad guys left standing the Private calls out, "Clear here!"

Emily shoots and scores another hit to the guy's leg just as he takes a swing at her. The sword stabs through the cloak and between the ribs, cutting her deep, but it is more of a graze. Still, it isn't like getting shot. It hurts like hell, especially when he yanks it back out of her. She falls to her knees, left arm holding her side. But rather than just stay on her knees or fall over, she forces her leg back up, putting the boot on the ground and … the pistol waggles dangerously as she tries to seek out her target and finds he's already down and dead from other rounds. She ends up flopping back into a sitting position, looking ridiculous while trying to keep proper posture. There's a lot of blood, but it only LOOKS like a lot. A little goes a long way and the cuts certainly hurt. "Clear."

Max is almost back to the team when he finds that they are calling clear. He slows and looks back. "Doc… wounded." he calls to Avery. He then waits and falls into step with to provide cover in case there are any more baddies out there. He keeps quiet and gives plenty of room for her to work, keeping a watchful eye out around the area. "Wonder if that was enough to impress the locals." he mutters under his breath. He damn well hopes so… members of his team were hurt in making their little demonstration a reality for the local populace.

It's a tougher, longer fight than Lleufer expected! He finally drops one of the militia men, the one that was attacking Emily! But not before that fella strikes her in the chest! "Benning!" It pops out of his mouth before he can stop himself, this time. At once he's moving forward to try to get to her, "Medic!" At least he killed the fella who was trying to cut Emily down. As the others are neutralized, Lleu grabs Emily's shoulder to steady her, "Avery's coming." He's hardly said it when their new Corpsman is rushing up and the Gunny shifts to give her room. Pistol still in hand, he turns his head and is looking over everyone else to see how they have faired - and to see that Maxwell is back on his feet. "How bad you hit, Sergeant? Anyone else hurt?"

Max is almost back to the team when he finds that they are calling clear. He slows and looks back. "Doc… wounded." he calls to Avery. He then waits and falls into step with to provide cover in case there are any more baddies out there. He keeps quiet and gives plenty of room for her to work, keeping a watchful eye out around the area. "Wonder if that was enough to impress the locals." he mutters under his breath. He damn well hopes so… members of his team were hurt in making their little demonstration a reality for the local populace. "I'm good Gunny, just a scratch." he says. It's sorta kinda the truth. Sorta.

Avery just flashes another smile to the Marine and watches his go off back into the rapidly ending turmoil. Hearing about there being more wounded she lifts her pack and rushes to the next. The young Marine. Dropping down beside her she gives a reassuring smile but like before her movements are brisk, no nonsense. "Let's see what you've got going on. Just breathe calm and easy, you're good." After some minimal exploration, she follows the trails of blood and without any outward reaction to the severity of the wounds, she starts treating them, stanching the flow of blood. "This is definitely not a time to lose your head." One corner of her lips curves upwards at her poor attempt at teasing her.

The innkeeper and about two dozen people stayed to watch the gunfight and blades of the militia. The townsfolk had probably not seen any fighting here since the initial invasion. With no rescue coming, resistance was just going to bring death. Al, the bartender, walks on out towards the group and the dead militia all around them. He nudges a few of them with the tip of his bat, giving a satisfied grunt. "I'd say this constitutes puttin your money where your mouth is. Semper Fi, brother. I don't think I've ever seen someone chase militia. Or heard about it." He looks to the bleeding Marine girl, almost like he might recognize something about her, then he looks back to Lleufer. "We'll pack up everything we can. Looks like our demise will probably be here in seven days. You want us to bring anything? Cattle? Horses? Hay? Tools?"

Lleufer had knelt down next to Emily while Avery works on stopping her bleeding and gives Benning something for pain. He looks up though as the bar keep and the others come out to talk. His Arpay pistol he holsters and pulls his loose tunic back over it to conceal it. "Yes. This town and Kolwyn … how manhy people roughly do you think you can round up to be lifted off? We'll take as much livestock and tools as we can. There's grazing where we'll take you, and people and livestock already there but if we have any room left over for feed and hay, we'll pack it in. People are our highest priority." A hand is thrust out to Al, "I'm Gunnery Sergeant Ynyr with the Orion. You have any people who might try to warn the Skath, you are going to have to keep'm quiet until we can bring in ships to get you out in a few days." Exact place and time to be arranged before they part.

Maxwell moves outward in a radial from where Avery is working on Emily and sets a new perimeter. He keeps his weapon in his hand, watching for any other Militia or even towns folks. Just because some of them seem happy (now) that they are there… does not mean that all of them are. He watches them all. And may the Gods help any of them that threaten his team. "We're eyes out Gunny." he says back to Lleu. "Leander." he looks towards the MP. "Secure that Knight's weapon for me please." he asks, still providing cover.

"Aye aye, Sergeant." Leander had taken a moment to reload his sidearm, but when he hears Maxwell's instructions he holsters it and goes to gather up the swords, as well as the dead Knight's pistol if that's still at loose ends. These are all left in a heap near where the Marines are set up, and where they can keep an eye on the weapons. "Hang on," he says after doing a count. "Was it the Knight plus seven, or seven total including the Knight. Because we may be missing one."

As the Innkeeper speaks with Lleu, they barely get a cursory glance from the Corpsman as she is too focused on her young patient and getting all of the bleeding stopped and mopped so she can get to busy on the actual wounds. It takes a bit, but a surgeon she is not. Her own preemptive measures are temporary at best and once she's got her bandaged, she wipes her hands on a cloth she keeps in her pack. "We'll get you and the other Marine back to Orion and under the doctors care there, but for now, you're good to go and safe for travel. Just avoid sharp objects between here and there." She doesn't quite stand yet, she remains squatted down beside her, "Can I help you to your feet?" And she'll stand with her, if the offer is taken. Only once she's standing again does she allow her attention to drift back to Maxwell who seems to be securing the perimeter, just a check over her other patient for now.

Emily is still in a lot of pain and there's blood all over, but at least she isn't bleeding anymore. She takes the help to get to her feet and leans heavily on Avery for a moment. Looking down at the bloody pistol in her hand, she stuffs it into the holster and looks at the dead militiaman. "Thank you." She looks over to Avery and sighs with a low smile, then moving off her lean. She holds her side and looks around at the carnage. "I never thought I would see dead militia and feel safer. This is a new one for me."

Maxwell shakes his head to Leander. "Seven total, including the knight." he confirms. He looks back to Avery. "Is she good to go?" he asks her. He back just a bit closer. "Well done Benning." he says to her quietly. His face is solemn. Killing is never an easy thing. Should it ever become so, it might be time to find a new line of work. He nods to Avery to help her back with others and he keeps the perimeter in place while Lleu is talking with Al. He's not about to compromise their safety, now or ever.

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