AWD #177: Return to Persephone
Return to Persephone
Summary: Holtz and Atalanta go back to Persephone, with Raptors in tow to evacuate the personnel still on station.
Date: 02/07/2013
Related Logs: Second Recon of Helios Alpha
Holtz Atalanta Agrippa Bennett Kingsbury 
Persephone Station
Tylium mining and refining station at Persephone.
AWD# 177

Getting back out to Persephone again isn't a difficult trip, it just takes awhile to jump the three steps back. Settling in a good distance back from the defense guns, the black stealth ship reports zero DRADIS contacts new, though the debris field and guns do not appear to have changed their locations at all. Inside that loose sphere of defense guns is a massive fueling platform with enough Tylium to power The Seventh Fleet for a year. Its a massive structure with huge storage tanks kept at a distance — though their placement is incidental. If one of them exploded, all of them would. And it would be a large enough detonation to take out the whole site including the guns. Like the Colonel in charge of the ship said, 'Try not to shoot the fuel tanks. Please.'.

Holtz is, as usual, ensconced in the cockpit of a silvery Mark VII Viper, one of three dispatched on this particular mission. That Colonel's words still echo in his ears as he and the other two knife through space on a course towards the Persephone fueling station… and the defense platform still hanging alongside. He gently pulls on the controls, taking up a position on one side of Atalanta's fighter. "Teatime, Storm," he calls out over the comm, his voice calm, relaxed. "In position."

Launching from the Stealth 'Vette that carried them all the way here to Persephone, Agrippa also proceeds through the depths of space in his own Mark VII Viper. Goosing the thrusters a bit here and there, he slowly maneuvers into position, taking the opposite position that Holtz had planted himself in respect to the DCAG's Viper. "Teatime, Punchie. In position."

Atalanta is far less relaxed than Holtz is at the moment, though there's no hint of it — the way the corners of her jaw are clenching, maybe, but it's highly unlikely either of them are close enough to see. Is her voice tight? Or is that just an effect of the frequency limitations of their comms? "Flight, Teatime. Stay close. We want them to know we're here, not to fly headfirst into firing range, yeah?"

"Yeah," Storm confirms. His voice might be level, but it belies the adrenaline already starting to work its way through his veins, his gloved hands wrapped around the controls in a viselike grip. "Will follow your lead." With DRADIS offline, he's relying on purely visual scans; his eyes flick about from one side of the canopy to another, watching for any enemy response to their presence.

With the plan shared by the DCAG, Agrippa comms back a brief acknowledgement, "Punchdrunk copies." Ready to fly in formation with Atalanta to say hello the station. "Hope they're friendly and roll out the red carpet." He mutters more to himself, having the comm temporarily muted as he makes that comment. The young Viper pilot is also fully focused no that they are entering a potential hotzone, with anything that could be here to greet them.

Franklin moves to close in on the station at a steady clip — not speedy, but at a nice, even pace. She's not trying to hide their presence. There's no question about that. "Fangs out, gentlemen. I'll be switching DRADIS on in 5… 4… 3…," she counts down, while tuning to any and all Colonial frequencies she can find, in the hopes of picking up an open channel.

The DRADIS comes on and the Defense Stations in the distance lock on. Before, they were just scanning in general, but with an active source, their millimeter-band systems lock in on Atalanta's Viper at long range… though none of them fire. There's no outward reaction from the station, though the other guns quickly come alive and begin scanning all sectors. That woke them up!!

Holtz tenses as Atia begins her countdown. "Hope for the best, plan for the worst," he mutters to himself before reaching out to activate his weapons systems with a flick of the thumb. "Fangs out," he echoes, eyes fixed on the closest station, brows crinkled in concentration. His fighter jukes and dances under his experienced touch, as he does his best to stay at range and give himself a moment or two to maneuver if the stations do decide to fire on the Vipers. His movements are purely defensive, though, his weapons hot but silent.

When the countdown begins, adrenaline begins to course through Agrippa's bloodstream as he gets ready for turrets to start opening up, lighting up this area of space in spectacular flashes. Once the countdown is finished, the younger pilot activates his own weapon systems and gets ready for evasive maneuvers. He breaks off away from the other two Vipers, extending the space between himself and the others, eyes quickly focused on the turrets that have awaken from their cold slumber.

Franklin had been flying in a line so straight, mathematicians would be jealous — at least until their weapons systems activated. Now? Now she's wiggling it, just a little bit, in the event that the station is either under Cylon control or set to automated firing. "Station Actual, this is Major Atalanta Franklin of the Battlestar Orion. Repeat, this is Major Atalanta Franklin of the Battlestar Orion. Identify command of your station, over."

Holtz's head jerks slightly as he catches Agrippa's fighter breaking away in his peripheral vision, but he doesn't try to order the other pilot back into formation. In fact, Holtz himself opens the distance between himself and the other two as well, so as to deny the stations any opportunity to concentrate their fire on one area. Atia's hails echo over the comm channel, and he inhales sharply, looking around and waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Instead of focusing on his two wingmates, Agrippa's eyes are darting at the potential targets outside, the gun platforms. He is also watching for any flashes in the distance, the telltale sign of crafts exiting FTL jump which would most likely mean Cylons. For now, Punchdrunk remains silent, letting the DCAG do all the talking and perhaps setting up a tea party.

As they all cruise closer, the stations start picking them up easier. Multiple Defense guns lock onto each one as they pass in the distance, the low growl of a lock tone angry in their helmets. Even after the radio call goes out, there's several long seconds of dead air. The seconds drag into minutes. Just when a basestar might show up, a man's out of breath voice answers the radio. Its a hasty word, lost with a crackle and what it sounds like is someone dropping the mic. When he keys it up again, there is the sound of a bunch of other voices in the background, some almost frantic. "This is Captain Aldridge. I'm Actual- SHUTUP!" the last seems an aside to the rising concern in the voices behind him. "I'm Actual. Repeat your ID."

Franklin doesn't break out into a grin just yet. On the contrary, she was about to repeat the message with a warning that would be fired upon, when the voice breaks over the comms. There's a little sparkle in her eyes and she sits a bit straighter in her Viper as she replies, "Station Actual, this is Major Atalanta Franklin of the Battlestar Orion. Repeat, this is Major Atalanta Franklin of the Battlestar Orion. Advise on the condition of your station, over."

Holtz looks at his controls in no small amount of surprise when he hears the new voices coming in over the com channel. "Well, frak me runnin'," he mutters in astonishment. He relaxes just a bit, adjusting himself in his seat as he brings his fighter back around. He's still cautious, though; despite the com traffic, worst case scenarios are still flashing in his mind, and he keeps his DRADIS cold and weapons hot as he keeps watch for unwanted guests as Atia continues to talk to the station.

As the silent response continues, Agrippa becomes more tense, especially when you have the warning warble filling your cockpit but no autocannon fire following suit. When an actual voice finally blasts through the comm, there was an almost audible sigh of relief when it sounds like an actual human on the other side. At least someone appears to be in charge and the station isn't full of skin jobs, zombies, or dead colonists. With positive communication now linked, Agrippa's attention is more focused out in the darkness of space, hunting visually for any flashes of metallic objects in the backdrop that isn't suppose to be there.

"Standby, Major." Several seconds pass, dead air trailing in and out of static. Then, "Uh huh. Yeah, we can see you on vid. Those definitely look like Vipers. Had some others come in here claiming ot be colonials also, but the fleet is gone, lady. Had some pirates roll through in a couple cruisers a few months ago trying to take gas but we knew it was just another ruse. One of them fleshy types killed most of our command staff and they've been trying to get back in here to get the rest of our gas. What's your business, Major?"

Somehow, some way, knowing that she's on video, Franklin resists her urge to press her face against the glass like a caged hamster and ask if they can see her now. "And your information is six months out of date, Captain," she corrects. There's no bite in her tone. She's starting to grin, and it's audible in her voice. "We're here to confirm command of your station and prep to evacuate your personnel to a secured location. Request enemy status in the area, over."

"Well, no shit we're Vipers, frakwad," Holtz mumbles, rolling his eyes at the captain's observation. He waggles his wings in what's obviously meant as a sarcastic salute at the vid pickups he now knows are locked onto his ship. A devilish smile crosses his features as, if on a sudden impulse, he cuts his forward thrust, flips his Viper end over end… and flashes his engines at the cameras before turning over again and resuming course.

The way the conversation is going, Agrippa wants to very badly fire off some remark about how they should get out more often and that the fleet is still alive and well, just not /the/ fleet but perhaps /a/ fleet. However, the youngest ranked pilot knows when to keep his mouth shut and his maneuvering in proper decorum. At least for now. He also has a feeling that Persephone Actual isn't going to just believe them, especially when Atalanta is inviting them to some strange place that is perhaps equivalent to a black van with FREE CANDY marked onto its side.

After the last call from Atat, the silence lingers once more and when it comes back there are more of those begging voices but the man's voice is stern. "I'm sorry, lady, I don't care who you think you are. Nobody is leaving this station. And you're not coming aboard. We've had steady attacks every few weeks. Last time they brought Raptors. Said they were trying to make contact from Picon. Right. Nice try. Get the frak on out of here and do-" There's a sharp sound on the comms and the transmission cuts.

[Into the Wireless] Agrippa says, "Flight, Punchie. Did he just get KO'd by his friends?"
[Into the Wireless] Holtz says, "No idea, Punchie, but they sure's frak didn't sound happy."

There's a long pause from Franklin before she cuts in on the comms again. "Captain Aldridge?," she asks. Another heartbeat, filled with silence. "Captain Aldridge, are you there?" The corners of her mouth have turned down into a frown. Given the man's tone, coupled with the sudden silence, her hand shifts to her trigger, ready to fire upon the station, if necessary.

Holtz tenses again as the transmission dies abruptly, his prior insouciance forgotten as his lips twist into a frown. "I don't like this," he says softly into his mic, a tingle running up into his spine as he flicks an eye to his weapons readout and back to the station.

The abrupt cutting off of Aldridge's voice is a bit disconcerting but Agrippa is making the assumption that the 'crew' that the Captain was representing obviously did not agree with what the Captain was saying. However, he does heighten his alertness and gets ready to breaking into evasive if the gun turrets are activated.

Seconds pass, Atat's words hanging in space. After a few moments, a woman's voice comes back. "This is Actual." There is dead silence in the background. "You said you were looking to process evacuations, Major? This is Ensign Pertwii, I'm now in command." She sounds about Kelsey's age. "Uhm, okay. Well, we have a lot of people here who would like to go home. Last we heard, home is gone. We've heard a lot of things and we aren't sure what's true. What say you and can you provide us with any proof?" Same accent that Chief on the Deck has.

One brownish-blondeish brow hikes sharply upwards at the sudden change on the radio. Granted, it was to be expected, but. "Actual, I do hope you've left Captain Aldridge alive. We can't afford to lose any more personnel," Franklin intones. There's no question about it — Franklin's 'hope' is both an order and a warning. "As of last recon, Canceron, Gemenon, Sagittaron, Tauron, and Virgon have been destroyed." A pause. "Troy as, well. My sympathies." Another pause. "All other Colonies have partial populations intact and under Cylon occupation, including Picon, where resistance is under command of Commander Carolyn Spree, CMC."

"Captain Alridge is dead." Its clipped. "You can afford to lose a piece of shit like him, Major. Trust me." There's something rather cold about it. Vengeful. Listing off the other locations, there is a long silence. Probably almost long enough to ask if she's still there. "That's the list we got from the Raptors. Along with the same name. One of them strayed too close to the guns and the Captain shot it down. They never came back. Now we know why." Pause. "Over."

Holtz grunts as the new voice sounds over the com channel. His jaw clenches reflexively at the mention of Tauron, and again at the mention of Spree as he remembers what Aldridge had said about the Raptors from Picon. His sudden fear is confirmed a moment later when the woman confirms they'd scragged one of the Raptors, a florid, chopped off curse escaping from his lips. All of a sudden, he doesn't seem regretful at all at the news of Aldridge's death.

If one could see Agrippa's expression, it would be ice cold and TAC1 could hear the young pilot mutter, 'Good riddance', not meant to be spoken aloud. With the crazy one in charge now dead, Punchdrunk is actually a little more relaxed that the gun turrets would no longer fire at them. He does comm over a request to the DCAG to pass on if she chooses to.

[Into the Wireless] Agrippa says, "Teatime, Punchie. Can you request the station to have their guns stop locking onto us? In case of accidental discharge."
[Into the Wireless] Atalanta says, "Punchie, Teatime. Will do. We'll see how it goes over."

Franklin lets out a soft hiss, inaudible to anyone else. Her jaw clenches for a second, which is obvious. They can hear not the clenching, but the effect which it has on her speech. "Current location of the Fleet is classified. Fuel aboard is of secondary concern to stated exfil of all remaining personnel." She taps her thumb on the top of her joystick thrice, slowly circling closer to the station. "Request station cease targeting and advise as to time of last Cylon flyby and number of crew to be evac'ed."

"Hold on." Seconds pass and she can be heard talking to someone else, forgetting to turn the mic off. It fades in and out with the background static. Something about dying anyway. Questions as to the future. An agreement with some finality after a minute or two. Then the guns shut down and every one of their systems goes dormant. Not just passive, but it would seem they shut off. "We've lost most of our personnel, sir. We're down to eight. Sort of. We'll take an evac when you guys can get us a Raptor. You all can have the fuel station and the food if you'll get us someplace safe and warm, even if its only for a few minutes, sir. The Cylons will probably be back sometime in the next day or three. They're pretty regular about hitting us."

Holtz swings his fighter around, in a relatively slow and leisurely fashion so as not to alarm the obviously twitchy fingers on the station — but then it's suddenly a moot point as the weapons lock alarm thrumming in his ear dies away. He exhales slowly, arcing his Viper back towards the others as he slides back into formation with Atalanta.
[Into the Wireless] Holtz says, "Punchie, Storm. All right, I think you can bring it in now."

When the lock tone finally dies down, Agrippa visibly relaxes some more, glad that he doesn't have to perform any emergency maneuvers anytime soon. However, now his mind is working, especially when the new update from the station is that Cylons have been buzzing their defenses regularly. However, he reserves any thoughts or questions until after the station crew is rescued as that is the new priority of the mission now.

[Into the Wireless] Atalanta says, "Flight, Teatime. I intend to land. Punchie, assume CAP around the station. Storm, you want to come do something dumb with me or do the smart thing and leave at least some of the wing's leadership intact if they pull a move?"

The silence drags on, between the station and Franklin's radio. Likely, the pilots are conversing amongst themselves. Finally, there's a crackle of static before she breaks in. "Actual, Franklin. Two of us intend to land to make visual confirmation of crew IDs. If all is clear, prep for evac. We'll be back for all personnel in three hours." She isn't waiting for a response. With their systems down, she's moving in towards their landing pad.

Agrippa pulls back on the stick to maintain a standard CAP flight around the area, giving perhaps a bit more range to DRADIS sensors and visuals as needed for an earlier warning in case something jumps in. He'll continue flying the standard pattern for as long as the other two Viper pilots are on station.

As he converses with Atia over the comms, Holtz brings his fighter around and enters a landing pattern, pointing his nose at the station's landing pads and cutting his throttle. He keeps the DCAG's Viper in front of him as they settle over the station, using thrusters to slow his ship to a hover and slowly bringing it down onto the pad until he feels the soft thump of his craft making contact with the deck.

The landing area is more of a small airlock. There's enough room to park a small fleet transport or about half a dozen Raptors. Off to the side are a couple of munitions pallets still wrapped in the tie-downs and gathering dust. to the side are fueling hoses and hookups, all looking about as used as the pallets. Otherwise, there's nothing here. There really isn't any way to get off this platform except for the two Vipers that just landed. The Ensign confirms touchdown and the group says they'll meet them down at the pad. Its a bit of a walk so there's enough time for the airlock doors to shut behind the Vipers and the interior doors to open after equalizing pressure. Left there in silence, there's just the empty hangar and nobody else.

Franklin may be doing something that borders on the suicidally stupid, but she's not completely and utterly insane. Once her Viper lands and the airlock doors are sealed, she's reaching for her sidearm before she's even reaching to release the hatch on her bird. Her helmet? It stays on. Holtz can likely hear her, though possibly somewhat garbled by a few layers of glass, ordering him to do the same. "Be prepared in case they blow the airlock, Major."

After their ships are secured, Holtz pushes his canopy open and pulls himself out of the Viper, sidearm coming out as soon as his boots hit the deck. Better safe than sorry. Like Atia, he's leaving his helmet and seal collar firmly in place, and he nods sharply when he hears her voice, clearly thinking along the same lines. "Copy that."

Voice and boots can be heard to approach up the hallway towards the landing pad. Some are moving faster than others, but they seem to stop and wait every few steps. When they appear, it isn't with guns drawn. A sickly looking guy pokes his head into the hangar and looks at the two in their helmets and swallows. He waves quickly and motions for the others. There are, in fact, six of them. Five women and the one guy. Most of them are in civvie clothes except for the guy whose engineering uniform hangs off of him… but the women all look well fed. In fact.. three of them are pregnant. The youngest, holding a sidearm, looks to be well into her second trimester, if not into her third. The other two are closer together but probably not as far along. The youngest woman approaches the pilots and looks between them. "Major?" she asks, looking between the pilots. Flightsuits aren't exactly the best for trying to identify the gender of a pilot.

Franklin blinks several times, slowly. One hand — her free hand, not the one carrying her weapon — lifts. "Here," she confirms, as she scrambles down the side of her bird. She's not yet prepared to pop her seal collar yet. "I count six. You said eight. Where are the other two, and where's Aldridge's body?" There's no more mention of his rank — a privilege of hers, but judging by her tone, that's not her reason for dropping it.

As the others come into view, Holtz's sidearm twitches upwards, his expression hard as he watches the six of them approach. He watches them carefully, weapon leveled, but taking no other outwardly hostile action. His head twitches towards the woman who calls out — after all, his own collar bears major's pins as well as Atia's — but he stays silent for the moment, letting the DCAG take the lead.

"Ensign Pertwii, sir," she introduces. "Sorry for being out of uniform but we don't have anything that really fits proper." The three of them are in sweatpants and t-shirts. It might be a reminder of people who are just too poor to afford maternity wear. There's some embarrassment to the women but the Ensign just pushes onward with a sigh as she approaches. The guy lurches towards Holtz and nods. "Hey, sir. You need some gas or anything?" The pins show him to be a PO1 but its hard to tell his age. He looks a lot older because of the lack of food. Meanwhile, the Ensign nods to Atatlanta, "The other two are in the brig on that Captain's orders. Said they were plottin to kill us all. Those are the other two fathers." She motions to the other women. "We don't think they're guilty of anything of the sort. They just keep beggin for food and to see their girlfriends." No known Cylons here. "The Captain's body is up on the command deck. You can go see if you want but sir, if its all the same, I think I've seen enough and I'd rather just wait." She swallows, looking between the two pilots. "You're- you're both human, right? Promise? This isn't a trick? We just want off of here. Don't think we can handle hearing more lies." 22? 23? She was probably fresh out of the Academy when the bombs dropped.

"Apologies aren't necessary." Franklin swallows thickly, before she finally pops the collar on her helmet and peels it off. Her gun is soon holstered, and she shakes her head to get some of the damp hair off her neck. "No, Ensign. Neither Major Holtz nor I are Cylons, last I checked." One hand is offered, still in their gloves. "I'd like to see the body, as well as the prisoners. If everything is as you say, start packing. We'll jump back to the Fleet to scramble a Raptor crew and be back for you immediately. It shouldn't take more than three or four hours, all jumps considered."

Once Atalanta pulls off her helmet and collar, Holtz does the same, though it's slow work one handed, as he's not yet willing to lower his own weapon. He looks at the PO1 that had first addressed him with a shake of the head. "Save your tylium, PO. We got plenty to get us back where we came from, an' the fleet'll need it." An eyebrow quirks at the young female ensign who seems to be in charge now. "I was born on Tauron, Ensign, an' I promise you I'm as human as they come. I think I can say the same for the Major, here." His mouth twitches as he briefly looks over at Atia. He hesitates, but finally and reluctantly follows the DCAG's example, holstering his weapon.

"Yeah, you're getting apologies anyway. These have been our uniforms for a few months now. The Captain thought we 'looked cute'." The dry tone to that tells all about what she thinks of that particular opinion. But the rest he her look between the two pilots, gently tapping the nose of the pistol against her thigh. Its a bit of a nervous twitch, but at least her finger isn't on the trigger. At least she remembers her classes from the Academy. There's hesitation all over her face as she looks back to the other four women. After a moment, she gives a shaky nod. "Pack up. Get Mark and Ricky's gear, too. We're not coming back and I'm not leaving them." There's something on their faces that might be a little heartbreaking: hope. One of the woman wipes at her face as they all turn and move for the hallway and probably off to get their things. The Ensign sighs and tosses the sidearm down on the hangar deck, obviously not seeing a need for it anymore. "They're moving. I can't very well sit here. That's not fair. Come on. You can come too, if you want, Major Tauron." That last is to Holtz, obv. The PO1 by him just shrugs and slumps down to sit by the gear of the Viper. He looks too exhausted to move. "We were originally thirty one, sir. One of their skinners shot all of our command staff when we got word about the bombs. The Captain killed her. I was the Junior Tactical Officer and he was the Engineering D-H. A few days afterwards the Raiders hit us and a missile got through, punched a hole in engineering. Killed most of his team. Two others killed themselves, supposedly. The Captain found them both." She shoots Holtz and Atia a dark look as she walks them up towards the command deck.

"We've had similar problems with Cylon infiltrators aboard our own ships; when you arrive aboard the Orion, you're going to be quarantined until you can be cleared by both medical and intelligence for exactly that reason." Franklin falls into step behind the Ensign, obviously prepared to allow the swollen woman to walk at her own pace. "We've identified several of what's believed to be twelve humanoid models, and they'll be comparing you to the ones we already know. Fleet HQ was taken out in the initial shots. If any of you have any paperwork that supports who you are, bring it with you. Otherwise, take only what you can carry, and anything you don't want to lose. We won't be coming back again, unless something can be done to secure the station until we can return for the fuel."

"Right behind you, Ensign," Holtz replies with a nod. He falls in next to Atia, his hand resting on the handle of his holstered weapon. His eyes flick about warily, as if he's not quite sure they're out of the woods yet. As Atia explains things further to the younger woman, he falls silent, occasionally tossing a glance over his shoulder.

The Ensign snorts a laugh, though she seems grateful she isn't being rushed along. There's a wry smile to it. "Well I'm not carrying a watermelon so either this is a baby and I'm human, or I'm a Cylon with the colonies' largest fruitbasket. Same with the other two." She sighs. "But sure, whatever. I won't lie, sir, I wouldn't mind spending a few days in medical and getting this baby sorted. I've not had any of my shots or anything. No bloodwork. Just.. lots of little flutters. I'll grab all our crew files, though. As for securing the station? Not unless you have someone to leave here. Guns are down until someone here can rearm them." Walking into the command deck, its not much larger than a small bar. A DRADIS console, engineering, damage control, and the weapons panel. Not even a map table. The Captain is laying face-down with a bullet hole at the base of his neck. The Ensign steps over, messes with her hand, and tosses a ring into his face. "Frak you, Jonas." She looks between them. "Seen enough?" He's not one of the known models, if he even is one. The young woman grabs up file folders off a desk at the rear of the room and rests them on the top of that gerth. "I'm ready."

It seems that for all of her perceived delicacy, even with that upper class Caprican accent and everything, Franklin is less perturbed by gore than most might expect. She nudges Aldridge's body with her boot, making sure she gets a good look at the man's face, before she shakes her head. "He's not one of the ones we know. If we can just confirm the same of the other two gentleman aboard, we'll be on our way. When we return, I'll be leading the flight. Expect to hear my voice on the radio. We'll have medical waiting with the Marines who will oversee your quarantine; they'll see to all of you, but I'll advise them of the condition of you and the others, and that your PO is going to need some food. I doubt they have prenatals, as that would be a one-way ticket back to base for any of the women on the initial assignment, but there's food and emergency medicine available. It's a start."

"I'll take those, Ensign," Holtz says, gesturing to the files clutched in Pertwii's hand. "I'll make sure they get to our people. They'll wanna see 'em before sending any more of our people in, I think." A cold look goes towards the dead body on the floor, then he looks up at Atalanta. "You want me to go and look in on the other two, Major?"

"All three men are going to require food. They're all bad off. The Captain was starving them, saying we needed to keep our strength up. He guilted them into it. Those who resisted? Well, I said we had two suicides. Plus the two in the brig." Pertwii just stares at Atia for a moment, letting that sink in. With the offer from Holtz, there's an appreciative nod. "Thanks, sir. My back is killing me. But I can walk you both down there." There's a glance to the Captain then walks/waddles right past the two Majors and out and down the hall, expecting them to follow. "I'm a little late for prenatals, sir. I just want to make sure everything is okay. I want to get back on duty as soon as I can, sir. Hanging around here, waiting to die, listening to the Captain sermon lies at us about how we'd seed the station and start anew here. It worked when we were desperate to cling to anything. Whatever we could find with hope. After the two suicides in late March? No. We've been trying to get away from here and him since then. You cannot imagine what it was like watching him shoot down that Raptor. It was like he was sealing us into his coffin. Nobody, to this day, knows what happened to our courier shuttle."

There's a tic that appears right around the corner of Franklin's mouth, where it meets her left cheek. "Don't worry about conserving supplies now, Ensign. See to it that your men get some food and water in them while we're gone. If you don't have enough left for all of you, tell your PO to take the rations out of my emergency pack. They should tide you over for now; later, we'll be taking you somewhere that doesn't quite have the same problem. When's the last time you saw a fresh apple, Petwii?," she asks, turning to look at the other woman, who she shuffles along next to. No, she can't imagine what this has been like for them — but the hungry look in her eyes suggests she might, might, have at least a vague inkling into parts of it.

Holtz hefts the files, tucking them in under his left arm and then moving to follow the two women. "You can pull mine as well, if you need," he volunteers in regards to his own emergency supplies. "Don't look like I'm gonna need 'em on this run, yeah?" He listens to the Ensign's story with a grim, stony expression on his face as the three of them continue walking.

"No, we've got plenty of food. Seventh Fleet finished up a resupply rotation third week of October last year. We've got food for years for thirty people. For five or six of us? Probably well-past the ten year marker." Moving as she talks, she turns them down a corridor. "The minute the Captain went over, I intended to feed them and let them out. They're good men, sir. But a fresh apple?" Forlorn. "I've been craving fresh fruit for the last four months, sir. Vitamins don't cut it. A big green apple, with caramel, and raisens on top. Gods…" she sighs. "I get light-headed just thinking about that kind of bliss. I dream about food every night. Its not fun. But these guys have it worse." She opens the hatch to the brig and there the two men are, lain on their bunks. The smell is awful. They look incredibly malnourished. One of them is apparently sleeping but the other one lifts his head and just stares at Atalanta with sunken cheeks and eyes. No words. "Mark. Sit tight. Wake him up, too. I shot the Captain. We're all getting out of here. I'm going to bring you a plate of food here in a few minutes. The nightmare is over. You can be back with Carol." Neither one of them look like skinjobs.

Franklin's eyes linger on the men inside the brig — too long, really. Kept like caged animals. The corner of her mouth begins to twitch again as she stares back into the face of the man who is staring at her. "We're going to get you out of here," she says to him, firmly. It isn't simply a promise — it's an order. To believe. To cling to some scrap of hope. To trust her word. "I promise." A beat, and she looks back to the Ensign. "There's work to be done while we're gone, Ensign. I realize it won't be easy, given the condition of the crew, but pack what you can. Anything your people brought aboard, take. We won't be bringing you back here and there's no way to replace it, where we're going. After that, medical supplies. Don't worry about keeping it organized. Supply and logistics can sort it out later; just get it boxed up, sealed and unbroken. If you have time after that, personal supplies — toiletries, clothing, things like that. You may not think you need it now, but you may need it later, and what you don't need, your people can trade with others for things that they do. Pack like you're going on a permanent camping trip, because you basically are. Anything that can be carried to the deck, move. Anything you can't manage, group together and mark. We'll be bringing crew back with us, and they'll load whatever you can't up in our Raptors. In, out. Once we land, I want us back out in under an hour. Preferably half that.”

Holtz dons his seal collar. His eyes flash over the two formerly imprisoned men one last time before he turns to Atalanta. "I'll head back to the hangar, Major, and see that we're prepped for launch." He nods to the DCAG, and then to the ensign beside her before gathering up his helmet and the files Pertwii had given him before turning for the exit, meaning to retrace his steps back to where they'd come in.

The following breaks across the shipwide comm system. "Now hear this. Raptor crews, report to deck for emergency evac. Marines and medical, standby for incoming evacuees. Raptor crews, report to deck for emergency evac. Marines and medical, standby for incoming evacuees."

Kingsbury looks up from his whittling with a start, and drops stuff on his bunk. He scrambles to get into his flight suit before heading to the deck, looking curious and a little wary. He's still zipping up his suit as he steps onto the deck. He glances around to see who's here yet and what's going on.

St. Clair is 'who's here', it would seem; ostensibly the first bus driver to heed the clarion call, she's still tugging on the sleeves of her flight suit as she strides briskly along the deck toward a waiting raptor— already in the final stages of being prepped for flight by the deck crew. "It looks like you're with me," she calls across to Kingsbury with a quick grin. "We're still waiting for el-zed coordinates, but I think we'll be briefed enroute." Then she's vaulting up the ramp, and vanishing inside.

Striding across the deck is the DCAG, still in her flight suit, with her seal collar around her neck. Her helmet is tucked under one arm — a helmet which she's only just taken off, judging the faint fog clinging to its glass and the sweat that's clinging to her skin. As she spots personnel incoming, she calls them out. "St. Clair, Kingsbury, in a bird." And St. Clair was right. "You'll be briefed on the way." Three crews. She pulls a total of three crews, stalking among the suddenly scrambling hangar as she does. "You," a nurse. "You," another. A beat. "Where's the personnel for the station?," she barks out over the noise. Apparently, Franklin is of no mind to wait right now.

Kingsbury swings into the Raptor a few strides behind Butch and takes his seat, buckling in immediately and bracing to go go go.

Holtz is only a few steps behind the DCAG, pausing to give a few quick instructions to one of the deckhands before moving to fall into step with Atalanta as she musters a trio of Raptor crews. Like her, he's still got his helmet with him, and his seal collar is still locked in place around his neck. Apparently, he doesn't plan to be staying long.

Bennett wastes little time with the niceties of prepping their bus, currently spitting steam from its exhaust vents as the CO2 scrubbers finish their maintenance cycle. "Royal, right?" she calls over her shoulder to her backseater for the evening. "Have you done many evacs before?" Tick, tick, tick as systems are started, temperatures checked, statuses noted down on her pad of paper.

"Royal, yeah. Yer Butch?" KB pauses and then shakes his head. "Not many. You?" He's going through his own preflight checklist as quickly as humanly possible, eyes darting over the screens before him as he writes things down.

Bennett does not seem to mind the informality; if anything, it makes her smile a little as she goes through her checklist. "A few," is her soft-spoken response. An understatement of some magnitude, perhaps, but she doesn't seem interested in regaling the man with her credentials at the moment. "We will want to spend as little time on the ground as possible. I am trusting in your ability to keep our FTL drive spooled, and turn on a dime if necessary." There is good humour in her voice, despite the gravity of her words.

When boots of personnel begin storming the deck, Franklin begins ordering them onto Raptors, along with the two nurses she's pulled. "We'll be escorted out by the Cornwall," she says crisply — the stealth corvette which has been carrying Vipers out to distant sites. "Prep for transfer." And with that, she's pulling her helmet back and climbing the ladder that leads back into the cockpit of her bird. It hasn't even had the chance to get cold.

Kingsbury nods, once. "You got it, sir," he says, remembering that hey, this woman outranks him. "And, uh, sorry, sir." He's blushing a litle, but his list is done and he puts it aside. Then he looks to the Major through the cockpit windshield, before getting back to work.

Holtz hands his helmet to his crew chief and bounds up the ladder into his fighter. Once he's situated, the deckie hands his helmet back to him; Holtz pulls it into place and pulls his canopy shut, waiting for the deck crew to shunt the fighter back into a launch tube.

"There is nothing at all to be sorry for, Lieutenant," Bennett tells her backseater, before promptly tugging on her helmet and fastening the hardseal. Her voice comes over the radio a moment later, "Raptor alpha-foxtrot-four-niner is prepped and ready for launch, over." And then the hatch release is given a solid tug, and all four engines thrum to life in steady sequence.

Kingsbury grins a little, nodding. "Thanks, Cap'n," he says, before focusing again.

Franklin works her way through her launch sequence quickly — as quickly as she can, with the deckhands rushing to taxi her back into proper positioning. Soon, she's rocketing back out into the black, and headed straight towards the stealth ship that's promised them a ride. "Flight, Teatime. We're headed to the naval station in orbit over Persephone, in the Helios Alpha system. There are eight personnel aboard, as well as supplies. Five women, three men. The men are badly malnourished and will need medical attention."

Holtz's fighter is wheeled back into the tube along with the DCAG's, and after quickly running through the preflight checklist he gives a thumbsup to the deckie in the alcove overlooking his fighter. He is suddenly pushed back into his seat by the g-forces as the catapults fling his fighter into space. His fighter springs loose of the Orion, following in Atia's wake as she heads for the corvette.

Far less ostentatious than the fleet-footed vipers barreling out of their launch tubes, Raptor A-F49 slips off the deck and into the black of space almost dreamily, its landing lights barely a flicker amidst the brighter glow from Orion. It takes the 'wing' position at the tip of the three raptors tailing the corvette. "Copy, Teatime. Plotting a course. What sort of cylon presence should we expect at the LZ?"

Bennett shoots Kingsbury a quick glance when she mentions plotting a course, and leaves the task in his capable hands while she goes through some data on the Persephone naval station.

Kingsbury nods over at Butch, casually prepping to get coordinates. He then… waits, hands settled on the console holding the DRADIS, ready to flick over the thing at a moment's notice to use the computer's capabilities.

"Flight, Teatime. No contacts on DRADIS, our last two visits. Station personnel advised that Raiders patrol every few weeks; their FDS is on full auto. Hang back until skies are cleared and targetting systems are confirmed cold. Trust me, you don't want to be staring down the barrel of their guns," the DCAG warns, before cutting out. Gods, the woman's coming in fast. It's not going to be the most graceful landing.

Normally, Holtz might make a dry comment to Atia about her speed, but in this instance he at least seems to grasp the reason for the other woman's haste. After all, he was there with her on the station; he saw the condition of the people aboard, same as she did. Thus, he says nothing as he brings his Viper in with equal speed; it's far from his smoothest landing, as he slams down onto the deck with a grunt and a jolt. Looks like the corvette's crew is going to have a divot to pound out of the deck once the mission is over.

Kingsbury's Raptor falls into position as Butch pilots the craft. Royal is slowly growing more terse as he watches the hubbub around them. He remains silent and preps to enter those coords, though.

The trip to Persephone is a hop, skip, and a jump away —- or rather three jumps, plotted in rapid successon. Those jumps take them to the edge of Helios Alpha's airspace, where the worlds that so many once called home are barely even glowing specks in the distance, easily lost among the stars.

The station is huge, large supporting storage tanks attached by superstructure to the rest of the command and engineering platform. Surrounding the whole place is a rough globe of Fighter Defense Stations, but none of them ping on DRADIS as active. The whole place looks desolate except for the running lights. The station obviously has power but its very, very quiet out here. At the far edge of the system, not much comes out this way. The only thing worth noting is a patch on the bottom end of the station where it looks like someone patched a missile strike. …The lights at the hangar bay are on with the doors open.

"Copy that, Teatime," crackles Butch's voice over the comm link again, moments before the cavalry of ships begin their sequence of jumps. They are the second raptor to arrive at the preset coordinates; the bulky bus hurtles back into normal space with a roar of engines that's no more than a whisper beyond her canopy glass. "Raptors, Butch; minimum lateral separation and full stop until we receive the go ahead from Teatime. Please sing out the instant you see even a fart on DRADIS."

Once that sickening feeling in the pit of her stomach passes, once that last jump has been made, Franklin does not launch with the same speed that she previously landed. After all, the last two times she's shown up, they had their guns up, running, and locking on targets automatically. Instead, she checks her DRADIS quickly before heading at an even pace towards the station — plenty of time to come to a screeching halt if Betty starts screaming that she's been locked on. Just as they're approaching the station's firing range, she breaks over the comms. "Station Actual, this is Major Franklin. Repeat, this is Major Franklin. Prep for landing craft."

Kingsbury shakes off the sickening feeling from the jump, he surveys the area before locking eyes on his DRADIS. He's silent, though, like usual, even his mild banter disappearing as soon as they're jumping.

As soon as the corvette emerges in the Helios Alpha system, Holtz flings his Viper off the deck into the blackness of space. A wary eye is kept on the ring of fighter defense stations as the group of Colonial small craft close on the station, and every few moments his eyes flick to his DRADIS console, checking for unwelcome visitors.

To Atia's radio call, there is only silence. There might only be that one uniform on the command deck. Or is it something else?

If St. Clair is suffering from any sort of nerves at the moment, it is not evident. She gives off an air of preternatural calm, even as the airwaves remain silent to the DCAG's hail. "Let's try cycling through a few different frequencies, in case they're not transmitting on a military band," she tells Kingsbury, over her shoulder.

Kingsbury gives a nod, a quiet "yes, sir", and gets to various frequency transmissions.

There is what very well may be the most conservative, uncreative stream of swearing possible the comes pouring out of Franklin's mouth, all muttered under her breath rather than over the radio. She hails the station again, as though jamming her finger down on her radio switch would somehow effect the strength of her signal. "Station Actual, this is Major Franklin. Repeat, this is Major Franklin. Do you copy?"

Holtz holds position on Atia's wing, still maintaining his silent vigil as the Vipers circle at range.

Still, there is no response. Everything remains quiet with the gun systems in the same standby mode as when the pilots left only a short time ago.

The closer they circle, the more and more obvious it becomes that the guns are, in fact, still offline. "Flight, Teatime. Prepare to board. Make no assumptions as to the security of the station." The last word cuts out, largely from the way she's being jostled about in the cockpit as she brings her Viper in for a landing on the open platform.

Kingsbury glances to Bennett before bracing himself for possibly seeing, well, lots of nastiness.

Bennett does not interject during the protracted silence which follows Atalanta's query, and does not question the order that's subsequently given. "Copy, Teatime," is her only reply, amidst the thrum of the raptor's engines being lit as she guides it into an approach vector. "Still not picking anything up on any other frequencies?" she asks her ECO. "Can you please run a scan for weapons signatures as well? EM spectrum, gamma particles.. let me know if anything unexpected pops up."

"Teatime, Storm." Holtz keys in his comms in response to Atia's orders as the fighter element slowly circles closer and closer to the station. "You want me to land as well, or stay out here an' keep an eye out?" He doesn't immediately break for the hangar, waiting first for the DCAG to advise before taking any action.

Kingsbury does as he is requested, nodding a little. "Yes, sir."

"Nothing out there, sir," is KB's reply a moment later.
You paged Atalanta with 'Don't care. Boarding might make things go faster though, I guess, since DK won't have to split his attention between outside and inside. Up to you, though.'

"Storm, Teatime. Land your bird." The station's landing platform is a bit more crowded than the hangar deck's she's accustomed to, and so Franklin slows to a crawl in order to touch down gently. She cuts her engines, twisting around in her seat to watch for the others coming in behind her.

"Copy, Teatime. Heading in." And thus, Holtz banks in towards the station, following Atia towards the small landing area they'd entered the first time. He touches down as close to the other Viper as he can, in order to keep as much space as possible for the Raptors.

Bennett brings her bus in for a slightly less than gentle landing, maintaining rough formation with the two other raptors in attendance. The moment they're down, she has her helmet and harness off, and is retrieving her sidearm from beneath her seat, and checking its clip. "Teatime, Butch," her voice crackles over the wireless, "Shall we remain here and wait for y'all, or will you require our assistance with the evac?"

The landing area is more of a small airlock. There's enough room to park a small fleet transport or about half a dozen Raptors. Off to the side are a couple of munitions pallets still wrapped in the tie-downs and gathering dust. to the side are fueling hoses and hookups, all looking about as used as the pallets. Otherwise, there's nothing here. There really isn't any way to get off this platform except for the two Vipers and three Raptors that just landed. The airlock doors to shut behind the Vipers and the interior doors to open after equalizing pressure. Left there in silence, there's just the empty hangar and nobody else. Once the pressure has equalized, the door to the rest of the facility opens and there is a familiar face to Ata and Holtz. The Ensign is standing there, this time in ramshackle-modified blues with a rifle strung across her chest. She just stares for a moment, disbelief settling in. The woman chokes and slowly settles to her knees, the pregnancy becoming more obvious when the rifle is dropped in its sling to pass to the right of her girth.

"Butch, Teatime." There's a pause. "I honestly don't know. Hit the deck; we'll see." And that's the last transmission from her, before she's sliding the canopy of her Viper back and climbing out. There's no ladder. There's no deckhands to assist her. She just jumps out, landing in a crouch with a heavy thud. She pops her collar and pulls her helmet as she rises back up to her full height. Stepping around the nose of her Viper, her eyes sweep the deck until she spots Petwii on her knees. "Ensign! Are you alright?"

After his ship is secured, Holtz pops his canopy and vaults over the side onto the deck. He's about to yank off his own helmet when he catches sight of the lone ensign standing at the entrance; there's a sharp intake of breath as he sees her fall to her knees, and he bounds forward.

The raptors, fortunately, are built for just this sort of thing, and it's a considerably simpler task for Bennett to climb out the hatch and drop the short distance to the deck. She is followed by her ECO, presumably armed as well. All thought of the radio silence and what might be transpiring seems to be abandoned, however, at the sight of a young woman in military uniform who appears.. to be pregnant. For the time being, she hangs back, though her Five-seveN is drawn and the safety appears to be off. "Is she injured or in labour?" queries the Captain. "Or both?"

The raptors, fortunately, are built for just this sort of thing, and it's a considerably simpler task for Bennett to climb out the hatch and drop the short distance to the deck. She is followed by her ECO, presumably armed as well. All thought of the radio silence and what might be transpiring seems to be abandoned, however, at the sight of a young woman in military uniform who appears.. to be pregnant. For the time being, she hangs back, though her Five-seveN is drawn and the safety appears to be off. "Is she injured or in labour?" queries the Captain. "Or both?" (re)

The Ensign stares at Holtz, then Atalanta. The tears finally kick in and she just sobs, bending over. Its the kind of relief that comes from too many months trying to hold it in. She doesn't wail or scream, she just cries. The woman is unwounded. She just shudders for a few moments while trying to look a the Raptors and the returning crew. Eventually she sputters out, snotty and all, "You're not Cylons?" The other two full-strength women Holtz and Ata can recognize are standing off to the side with rifles also, pale and …still daring to hope.

"No," Franklin says, swiftly closing the distance between herself and Petwii. Her voice drops down to a whisper, even as she offers one gloved hand up. "No, we're not." Her fingers unfurl slowly. "We're taking you all home. Right now. To a new home, but home." Swallowing thickly, she forces down the lump that's rising in her throat. "Just hold on, for a little while longer." She cranes her neck, looking back to see if the relief crew and the nursing staff are deboarding yet.

Normally, the Ensign's question might have gotten a testy reply from Holtz, but this time something stops him. Perhaps it's the tears, the obvious anguish on the woman's face. Perhaps it's the raw, forlorn hope on the faces of the other two. But whatever the reason, he simply nods and gestures to the two still standing, allowing Atia to help Pertwii to her feet. "Come on. We've got Raptors waiting. Time to leave, yeah?"

"Sir," St. Clair addresses Atalanta, a tetch less gently this time. "If her pregnancy is progressing, we will need to be underway immediately." Her voice still retains its soft, almost melodic quality, but there is a sense of urgency too. "How many evacuees are we looking at?" Blue eyes drag away from the ensign, and flicker over the faces of the others gathered in front of the airlock.

Pertwii looks at the hand in front of her, then up to Atia and sighs, nodding slowly with the words. "Okay," she whispers. "They're all-" She gestures down the hall. "We're the only guards. We weren't sure. They're down the hall behind crates." She swallows and looks to one of the other women, "Scott, let them know. Let's go." She slowly, ungracefully, takes a hand to the airlock door and pulls herself up as she looks at Holtz. "Okay. Can you help with the gear? There was just way too much. All the food- Medbay- We're just too exhausted." She takes a slow step and begins moving back towards the hallway where people are waiting, nearly waddling. Hearing Bennett, she looks back to the woman: "Sir, I've been pregnant for awhile. I'll make it to…wherever we are going." Home. Death. Elysium. "Please, help me with my people sir?" Down the hallway, the rest are huddling. Two other women are pregnant but not as far along. Both are trying to feed water to a pair of horribly emaciated men while another man, slightly better off, is standing there with bags around him, swaying gently like the breeze might topple him.

The pair of nurses are waved over not to the pregnant women, but to the skeletal men seated on the floor. "You've got twenty minutes to get them aboard one of the Raptors, on their own feet or not," Franklin directs. And then, with all the warm, reassuring smiles and easy grace of a woman welcoming guests into her parlor, she makes what introductions she can manage. "Ladies and gentlemen, meet Captain St. Clair, VAQ-121, Carrier Strike Wing 11. More importantly, your bus driver. She'll be getting all of you situated, while Major Holtz, the relief crew and I see to transferring the station's supplies." Green eyes come to rest on the faces of the women who'd been standing guard with Petwii. "Ladies, I know you're tired, but if you would, please?" Requests for once. Not orders. At least until, "I want us off your LZ and on our way back in an hour, max."

"Don't worry about it, Ensign," Holtz instructs Pertwii as he too finally pops off his helmet. "We've got plenty of room for your stuff. I'll see that it gets loaded." And with that, he heads over to the still-standing man, reaching down and hefting the closest pair of bags. "You too, go on. We'll take it from here," he assures the man as he begins transferring the bags to the nearest empty Raptor.

It is almost too much to take in at once. And if Bennett were much more a greenhorn, she might be stunned into inaction by the scene that greets them. But she's seen this picture before. In different permutations, to be sure; the actors change, though the story is similar. After a steadying breath, she addresses the huddled group of survivors, "If you cannot stand or walk, please raise your hand and keep it raised until a nurse has spotted you. Otherwise, Lieutenant Kingsbury and I will help you onto the raptors. There is plenty of room; as the Major explained, we are leaving no-one behind." And she's already moving, her sidearm safetied and holstered as she directs her backseater to assist her with half-leading, half-carrying people back to their bus.

The Ensign nods to the introduction from Atia. "Sir." She unslings the rifle and just drops it onto the deck plating without any regard. Just thankful that the weight is off. The two pregnant women seem reluctant to leave their men, though. They try and help them up and Pertwii moves to take an arm over her shoulder with another. Pregnancy apparently is just a side condition for them. None look willing to give up so close to salvation. She moves off towards the hangar with the man and her confederate. There's dozens of bags and hard-side cases. More than enough to fit in three Raptors, but the personal stuff is all in the rucks each person in the Navy is issued. The rest raise their hands, needing help to get back. The pregnant women all seem to have tried to get into uniform and failed on some easy-to-understand levels. The men.. their uniforms all hang off them like clothes on a line. Not a single officer among them except the Ensign.

It doesn't matter how many stripes she's got on her uniform. Franklin isn't above lugging boxes. People, either, but she's willing to give the nurses a few minutes to see to them first. One of the bags of personal belongings is picked up first, thrown over her shoulder. A second soon follows, with a rather distinct and unladylike grunt as the weight slams down on her shoulders. Afterall, Franklin is built nothing at all like the Tauran Viper stick that's been flying her wing all day. "When you have a moment, Ensign," she says quietly as she trails back towards the Raptors with her chosen cargo.

Said Tauran Viper stick remains uncharacteristically silent as he continues to lug boxes and bags full of equipment, personal effects, and whatever else the station personnel have from the deck to the waiting Raptors. He shows no sign of fatigue or complaint as he works; after all, none of it's quite as heavy as the ordnance packets he used to have to wrangle with as an enlisted man. He does pause occasionally to offer directions to the others loading gear when Atia stops to talk with the ensign, but for the most part his efforts are directed towards grabbing cargo, dropping it off, and going back to grab more.

Lugging things is pretty much part of Bennett's job description as a bus driver, on the other hand, and she sets to it with quiet aplomb. She busies herself directing traffic, while her shoulder is offered as a leaning post for one of the women who decides she's ambulatory enough to be helped to a waiting raptor. Kingsbury is left in charge of buckling in their passengers while the captain goes to retrieve more, ever cognizant of the time ticking away.

The work is slow going to get the survivors into the Raptors, but once in, they won't move. The rest of the work progresses with the haste expected. The whole station left unguarded, though, is another matter. Especially with all of its supplies intact. Or, well, most. The Ensign, though, is making sure her people are all in and getting taken care of. Barely into her twenties, thus must have been her first assignment out of the academies. She waits for Atia beside one of the Raptors, both hands rubbing at her lower back and looking exhausted in every possible way. "Sir?"

Franklin waits a moment, when she's sure the others are busy heading back to the hallway to weigh themselves down with another load. She stands close to Petwii — too close. Her voice drops down to a hiss, "As far as I and my AAR are concerned, Ensign, there was no mutiny aboard this station. Aldridge was relieved of his post by his men when the stresses of war proved to be too much for him. The radio traffic was chaos, and I don't know who shot him. It could've been anyone. All I know is that it was to keep him from shooting our entire flight down and we didn't have time to investigate." Both of her brows shoot up, her expression both pointed and expectant.

Holtz grunts as he plunks his last load down onto the deck of one of the cargo raptors, a heavy metal pallet filled with emergency supplies. He steps inside the ship's cabin, taking a moment to ensure the various bags and boxes are secured in place; thus, there's no way for him to hear the hushed conversation between Atia and Pertwii. "I think that's about everythin', Captain," he calls out to Bennett when he emerges a moment later, standing on the Raptor's wing. "You got those people secured?"

Bennett is just concluding one last sweep of the station, and — just possibly — catches a few words at the tail-end of the DCAG's conversation with Pertwii. She shoots the Major a brief, unreadable look, then continues on to her raptor, where Holtz is perched on the wing. "We have everyone," she confirms to the viper stick with a quick, weary smile as she clambers up. "Thanks for your help," Her hand alights on his shoulder briefly in passing, and then she's disappeared inside, and there's a low whine of the raptor's systems being brought back online. "Teatime, Butch, we're packed to the brim and ready to go," she adds over the radio.

The Ensign straightens a bit more, hands dropping as Atia addresses her. She just stares at the woman, glancing towards Bennett, then Holtz, but her gaze drops at the end. "He declared me his wife, sir. I killed my child's father. If I can leave it all behind here on this station, it'd be appreciated, Major. I'll tell the same story. I'll make sure the others understand. I don't think you'll hear anyone else pipe up. You're our salvation, sir. Zeus sent you." She looks up. "Thank you." She swallows and stands as straight as she can. "As the ranking and commanding officer of the Persephone Refueling Station, I submit command authority to this location through proper chain of command." …Because this post is normally held by a Colonel, that's probably a bit awkward to say. It comes through in her speech, too. But she drops the salute as soon as its met and climbs into the Raptor. Slowly. Awkwardly. Ohhhhhh the things to be discovered on the other end of this ride.

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