PWD #36: Event - Reese Recon
Reese Recon
Summary: An Orion Raptor crew and observer goes out in search of an errant Frigate, and discovers something much more ominous.
Date: November 30, 2012
Related Logs: None
Petra Theo Keller 
Out Near The Armistice Line
Open space! Its lonely out here, with only that single little flak frigate in the distance to keep one company.
November 30, 2004 (PWD #36)

As the Orion completes its jump, the Raptor is already sitting on the flight deck and facing forward towards the launch. The pilot, Lieutenant Emily "Cheese" Monroe, is at the controls. The Raptor is kitted out in its standard fare of transport, the gear in the back already warmed up.

"Raptor 211, Orion. Jump complete. You are cleared off," comes the voice through the radios. "DRADIS contact at thirty thousand meters, bearing 005. IFF reads as Roland Reese."

"Copy Orion, 211 is off. Disengaging locks and outbound on bearing 005," she replies over the coms. She glances over her shoulder. "Alright, let's go knock on the door and see who is home." Her accent is thick with Tauron upbringing.

The Raptor lifts gently off the deck, noses forward and immediately picks up speed. Emergency equipment, lights and the deck slip by at an ever-increasing rate.

Sitting in the back of the Raptor, there's little of the almost manic enthusiasm most people would expect from the cocky young Gemenon. Ensign Theodotus 'Peacock' Apostolos is all cool military composure as he glances over his screens, although there is a twinkle of excitement in his pale grey-green eyes.

The broad-shouldered form of one Lt. Ambrosius Keller is seated at the ECO console, his intent gaze bathed in the glow of blinky lights and diagnostics. He leans forward to give a quick yell out to the pilot's section of the bird, "Everything's green…boss. Spinning up DRADIS." He pauses and mutters, "What a shitty place to forget how their Wireless works." Arching a thick brow at Theo, he gives the younger man a little 'watch and learn' gesture as he points at the console.

As the Raptor leaves the flight deck, it bursts out into the stars and Cheese begins a lazy right bank. "No joke," she mutters back. "We've gotta be right up on the line out here." As the Orion slips away to the side the Reese is visible, just barely, as a rectangular shape in the distance, the most prominent feature being the dull glow of its powered engines. "Pushing up. Throttles to ninety. Green across the board here, too." The Raptor takes up velocity quick and the thirty klicks to the other ship begins dropping quickly.

Theo smirks at Keller, folding his hands behind his head and leaning back with an air of an overseer as he watches Keller at work. The day Peacock isn't cocky is the day the Lords of Kobol do synchronized swimming in space. To teen pop.

"And how in the Empty Hells does someone draw a line through space anyway? Frakker's infinite a—" Keller's immediate response comes before trailing off. "Never did make sense to me. Anyway never mind. Good news - DRADIS confirms Orion's readings. Nothing but her, us — and the Reese." The senior ECO smirks a little in the consolelight as he hits a switch. "Keeping an active scan on."

Petra glances over at Cheese and her half of the front console, hands going nowhere near the flight controls as he returns to scanning that little shape in the distance, "Not seeing any signs of damage or anything out of the ordinary visually, yet." Perhaps to keep his hands from doing idle things they shouldn't, he folds them across his chest for the time being.

"Hell if I know. I heard a rumor that due to spatial drift the line is constantly changing. Talk about ridiculous." Cheese continues her muttering through her thick accent. There's a glance to Petra and she nods. "Yeah, she looks just fine." The Raptor is closingthe distance fast and the woman retards the throttles and begins a slow braking maneuver with the thrusters. "Here's a question: Where's the welcome party?" As she takes them low, from the Reese's aft-port, past the 'flight deck', the passengers and pilot can see inside. All of the lights are on. There's even Raptors parked and sitting idle. "Weird." As they cross under the rear, she brings the Raptor up high around the frigate's starboard side. The hundreds of flak guns bristle from the sides with the name 'ROLAND REESE' in large block letters down the side. "Yo Sand, see if you can raise these guys on DRADIS. See what's up with the ship, too. Try thermals or somethin."

Squinting a little, 'Sandwich' rolls his broad shoulders forward as he begins to cycle through communications frequencies. "So if the Gods have a sense of humor, the Cylons have some little metal lawyers and cartographers and meter-maids sniffing out this line like a horde of thorny nit-picking assholes. 'Bout what I'd expect." His low voice barks a harsh laugh but he barely cracks a smile as he works on Cheese's requests, shifting scanning criteria as well as broadcasting over the comm system.

"To the Roland Reese, this is Raptor 211 from the Battlestar Orion. Roland Reese, Raptor 211. We're doing a flyby now — please respond." He pauses, waiting for a response. Or a signal flare. Or — something.

<FS3> Keller rolls Ecm: Good Success.

Petra leans over to the side as if that will help him get a better look into the landing pod, slowly straightening back up and remaining quiet while Sand tries to raise the ship. Glancing back at Cheese again, he mutters softly under his breath, "We should have at least picked up a patrol by now."

"Yeah, we should. The most frakked up part, sir? Why didn't they jump a Raptor home when they knew they had comms issues? Its not a far jump." The pilot slows her climb and begins rolling over the top of the Reese, keeping the ship at the top of the canopy at a safe distance. "Doesn't look like there's a damned thing wrong with it. Gun gallery is dark." She reaches forward and hits the floodlights, aiming them up across the bow as the roll over port side. "Well there's only one window. Let's see if we can signal anyone if its open. ..We're recording all this, right?"

The ensign ECO continues to sit back, looking from pilot to more senior ECO to TACCO, listening and observing. Theo doesn't say a word.

"No kidding." Keller echoes after a lengthy pause listening on the Comms. "Roland Reese. This is Raptor 211. Please respond. If you are experiencing wireless difficulties, please signal us via emergency beacon indicating status."

Pause again. "Yeah," He adds. "This is damn peculiar." Echoing his agreement to the crew aboard the Raptor. "Get a load of this - They clearly have birds in the barn. According to scans, thermal readings are normal. Reactor is green but their EXLORAD DRADIS assembly is cold. As in it hasn't been operating for days."

Petra nods slightly at Cheese's comment, Keller's additional explanation making him frown, "Massive systems crash? The Orion skipped the massive computer overhaul they've been pushing out to the fleets. Maybe they ran into a problem…but, for /days/?" He half turns in the chair to look back at both ECOs for just a moment, then resettles himself to watch the Reese for signs of activity.

The only return in the radios is the same hushed static of background RF signals from stars. Not even Orion is interrupting. "Its cold, sir?" Cheese glances of her shoulder, the words incredulous. "Are they insane? This close to the line?" She shakes her head and glances over to Petra. "Nah, Major. No way. It doesn't explain the Raptors… Standby. Captain Keller, we're coming around on the glass and it looks like the armor is down. Hellooooo," she sing-songs towards the canopy. And as they roll down and level out, she aims the light into the Obs Deck as they nose in, only a few meters away from the unmoving ship. "Oh frak," she breathes, staring straight ahead. Something red and runny has drooled down the inside of the plate glass and inside is the single body of an officer, in blues, sitting with his back to the glass with his body slumped forward on a rifle.

"What about scanning for any ambient energy readings in the area? Maybe they got hit with a solar flare or something that shorted them out." Peacock looks from Pilot to ECO at that. And then they see the body. "Oh frak."

Petra grunts softly at Cheese's comment about how the system shouldn't be cold, murmuring, "You have a point, Lt. I'm at a loss to explain why…" When the light gets shown in and reveals a bit more horrible scene, his voice trails off, a small breath sucked in as he stares, unconsciously leaning forward in the chair as if that will give him a better view. In a quieter voice, he adds, "I think we're going to need to involve the Marines."

"Because a massive, integrated systems overhaul is exactly what the Fleet needed." Keller begins in a sort of dry, world-weary tone echoing Petra. Continuing to stare at the console now, with a sidelong glance at Theo he amends "I didn't see shit like this when /I/ was an Ensign. As a matter of f—" He suddenly cuts himself short, /way/ short as Cheese's exclamation brings him back to reality as he then momentarily strains back to look out the viewport of the Raptor.

"Shit. Shit shit shit. I don't think they're crazy. I think it's a whole lot worse than that." He snaps sharply, wasting no time to raise the Orion on the comms. "Orion, Raptor 211. Please respond. This is Sandwich - looks like signs of violence aboard the Reese. We see a body. Repeat. We found at least one casualty on their observation deck."

Petra shakes his head slowly as Keller starts radioing back to the Orion, turning around again to look back into the rest of the Raptor. Focusing on Theo, he keeps his voice down, "Ensign, we have some sort of optics back there, right? Binoculars? Sight glass, something? Grab it and bring it up here a moment. Not going to be able to see better without the Lt. kissing glass up here."

Cheese can't even respond to Petra. She just /stares/ at the dried, red matter on the window. The Raptor hovers, completely motionless before there's a flurry of movement from her hand and she starts thrashing the huge light around, pointing it all over the inside of the room, looking for any other signs of life. There's nothing. At all. After a short pause, Jameson's voice can be heard over the radio: "Son, you better be absolutely clear about what you just said. Are you absolu- Standby-" The mic on the other end goes dead. Then the ECO console beeps a rather ominous, single tone.

With a deep, drawn sigh, Keller attempts to remain focused on his Wireless conversation. "Orion-Actual, Sandwich. Sir - with all due respect.." He begins, suddenly breaking off as there is a loud BEEP BEEP thrown into the mix by the Raptor's DRADIS. "NEW DRADIS CONTACT." His low voice forcefully intones, eyes wide as he attempts to extrapolate more information. This is over the comms but he then looks towards the cockpit of the Raptor. "Unknown configuration, but large. /Really/ large, bearing two three nine by four seven carom twelve." He then narrates the obvious, almost breathless. "It's just entered range on the /other/ side of the Line."

Theo's eyes are wide, and he sits back, letting the other man talk without interrupting.

Petra pauses when the incoming audio goes dead and he hears that tone from the ECO's console. His gaze shifts to Keller, still halfway turned around in the copilot's chair, and waits. Doesn't say a damned thing, just waiting for Keller's reaction and explanation, while a hand is still held out hoping Theo is able to find some binoculars. When Keller talks about a new contact, Petra torques himself back around to sit properly in the chair, and looks down at the screens in front of him, as if to see it for himself, "Lieutenant, how fast can we get back to the Orion if the Admiral doesn't respond?"

"You think I'm waiting to find out, Major? Frak it! We're out of here!" Cheese waits for no orders. She's the pilot in command and she's not sticking around. She slams her foot down on the pedals, kicking the ship's left tail arind as she hauls back on the stick. The Raptor slings low over the bow and she skims just over the structure. "Not good! Not good!" Someone doesn't want to be out here unarmed. The woman cues up the radio. "Orion, 211! We're inbound! Large DRADIS contact!" As she passes aft the pilot slams the trottles to the detents and the ship growls a bit as the lines dump raw fuel into the engines.

"Whoah whoah whoah whoah!" Keller exclaims, pointing at the contact that Petra is no doubt observing himself. "Cheese - try not to /crash/ us into anything on the way back." Note that he doesn't exactly object to turning tail himself. "Maybe it's a glitch." He jabs his finger frantically on the console trying to recalibtrate the DRADIS scan. Futility.

"Think it's a little late for binos, sir." Theo mutters, strapping himself in.

Petra might find the exchange amusing at some other time, but at the moment? The Major just settles and keeps his eyes focused on the screens ahead of him, looking for details in the DRADIS readings. Really, really hoping that dot pops up blue aaaaany freakin time now, "Agreed. I'm with the Lieutenant. I'd much rather take a look at this from CIC. Better, ah, optics there. What's it doing, Sandwich?"

Cheese maneuvers the Raptor directly back towards the flight deck, rolling wings level as she comes back around the rear. The Orion is safety. Its home. She rolls through an abbreviated approach, more or less going deaf to anything else going on.

"Not godsdamn going away, sir." Keller notes bitterly. "Which is exactly what I don't want. But —" He pauses, turning from the console to the rest of the crew. "It's not moving anywhere, either. Looks like it's holding position right there on the very edge of our sight."

Keller simply blinks. "On /their/ side of the line." There's a lot of emphasis on these last few words.

Theo continues to wait, looking from one to the other.

Petra scowls a bit, "Ensign, make sure we're recording all of this. If something happened to the Orion's computers, then we're the only one watching this and that may be all we have on this big frakking bandit if it disappears." He offers a symbolic 'hands up' to the Lt. as she starts her landing cycle, though his eyes are glued to the console.

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