AWD #344: Tahiti
Tahiti
Summary: … it's a wonderful place.
Date: 31/05/2016 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: Six to Twelve
Elias Naomi Skyler Dropkickst 
Piraeus
It's an island!
Fri Dec 16 2005 (AWD #344)

It's time. The Twelve wasn't told what was going to happen, but everyone else has been well-briefed. He is to be visiting Piraeus and getting some sunshine. He's not permitted to move more than fifty feet from the Raptor or he will be shot. If he makes any sudden movements, he'll be shot. Basically if he does anything that the rest of them don't like, he'll be shot. If he manages to get away, the Raptor over head is armed with four 2000lbs laser guided bombs and thermal cameras. He's not going anywhere. They've even found a nice, deserted, tropical island to visit on the other side of the planet from Sheridan. Nobody else has even been there yet.

Fitted with a triple-thick black hood, he's not allowed to see anything as he's frogmarched down to the Deck and put inside a plain Raptor. Even that Raptor's ECO panel has been wiped clean of all navigational history and the jump system physically disabled. The whole thing is as safe as can be made. So with four MP's (one with a GoPro on his helmet to tape the whole thing), Skyler, and the Twelve, they begin their descent to Piraeus. The exterior of the ship rattles with the re-entry speeds and the Twelve sits there, having said nothing ever since the Six's visit.

It's enough 'overwatch' that even Skyler is uncomfortable, but you do what you have to do. A tranquilizer was the initial thought for the trip until the Six's warning before he departed for Picon. The hood is easier, anyway. It means less time spent waiting for the drugs to wear off and less concern of dosage amounts. The woman is wearing a flightsuit, even if she's just a passenger for this outing. Maybe it's just to hold onto what of the Wing remains in her. It does mean she's unable to wear the brace. Instead there's a tight sleeve and wrapping underneath the suit. It's slowed her movements, but if she has to move fast… things are going to shit in so many other ways.

The woman sits across from the Twelve, in her own sort of silence. She's watching him, primed for any commentary. As they break atmo, her hand goes to the strap over her shoulder to hold steady. There's a slight lean and crane of neck to watch the island on approach. Her own visits to Piraeus have been only to Sheridan and the ruins. This is a new place and there is a sort of intake of breath. The sort reserved for sights one enjoys. "Hope you're a fan of island paradise," she notes, tone caught between wry and amused.

The Raptor is diving down at a 45 degree angle. The aircrew keeps it to a high speed run on a dangerous descent - per instructions. If the guy manages to overpower the crew, the Raptor will hit the water at Mach Two and disintigrate. Forty thousand feet ticks by under ten seconds and the pilots begin a slow pull-out at five thousand. The G-forces in any other bird would probably G-LOC the whole crew and kill them - but Raptors have artificial gravity so it's barely noticed. The island is barely big enough to support five or six palm-like trees and looks to be part of an atoll system about ten miles across. Perhaps a collapsed, ancient volcano? The sands are white and the water is a nearly crystal blue. Beneath the waves can be seen a jagged reef about one hundred yards out that crashes large waves over it. The Raptor slowly circles the 500-yard by 30-yard strip of sand and tall grass before beging a final descent.

As they get closer, the Twelve's knee begins to bounce as if in anticipation. Or feeling something. The guy's shoulders are tense and squared. "I've never much cared for the beach, but I would not mind a nice view. I prefer to mountains, myself. More powerful." The sound of his voice, though… he's forcing himself to keep calm. Something is already happening. The Marine with the GoPro keeps his helmet aimed at the Twelve the whole time.

It's not a fun sort of landing. It's one you practiced in the simulators in flight school just to know how to do it, but in practice it's a bit nervewracking. Then again, Skyler was never the type for 'easy' flights. It's why she didn't push her reassignment. Staying in the wing would have put her on transport duty only. It'd have been worse than not flying at all. And, well, one cannot say her life has been without excitement in the past weeks. Her eyes close for a moment as a particular angle and adjustment make her stomach shift in an uncomfortable sort of way. When the Twelve speaks, she opens them again to focus on him.

"Well, perhaps things will work out and you'll see mountains again someday." Her voice starts out light, but shifts into something more distracted. She's taking in the whole of the man. It's the most 'active' he's been since he was brought aboard. It's just a few long seconds before she gives in to her curiousity: "What is it? Are you…" A bit of a 'tsk' sound to herself as she ponders the right word. "… feeling something?" Close enough.

The Raptor flares one last time as the landing struts come out. Three. Two. Touchdown. Sand blows outward from beneath them, the breeze taking the rest off into the ocean. The Pilot begins a shutdown sequence and the ECO looks at his board. Something on there has his attention for the moment, but he's not visibly concerned. He hits a switch and the door motor begins working and then opening. Immediately the salt air of the sea fills the cabin and there's the hint of seaspray on exposed skin with warm air. A nice reminder of the beaches to be found on most worlds.

Two Marines out first to sweep while the other two rise. One has a semi-auto tranq rifle and the other has a full-on battle rifle. The grenade luauncher underslung has a single 40mm sponge grenade that will knock down a locked door, let alone a man, at close range. "If I told you 'no', would you believe me, Lieutenant? I think not. Make your judgments, I make mine." Outside, the two Marines call 'Clear!' and begin a slow walk out from the Raptor before facing back towards the ship. They're ready for Skyler's word.

And the intel officer has her sidearm. Skyler wasn't going into this wholly unarmed herself. She makes a quiet sound at the Twelve's reply. Not entirely enthused, but not surprised either. As the hatch opens, she unbuckles herself. Once the clear is given, she begins the process of disembarking and nods to the other two. "Bring him out, then remove the hood." It gives her the time needed to climb down; mindful of the bad leg. Vanity, perhaps, leading her to time things in such a way that the skinjob won't witness her in that moment of struggle. It's with feet on the sand and squinting out to sea — should have brought sunglasses — that she waits.

"Reminds me of a summer home my family had," she notes finally, casting a glance back before turning. Dark eyes fixed on the Twelve, to see how he reacts once able to see Piraeus properly. "If I get the opportunity to retire, perhaps I should move out here." Maybe she's just making conversation. Maybe she's waiting to see how he responds to such.

The Marines wait for the word before lifting the Twelve and pushing him gently towards the hatch. He takes small steps down to make sure he finds proper footing. When his boot finally touches the sand, he stops. Then, a second later, the next one. Both rifle and tranq gun are aimed at him. The Marine with the rifle reaches up and yanks the hood off without warning before nudging him forward and away from the Raptor.

The Twelve shields his eyes, squinting hard to try and make things out. He's been in complete blackout for the last hour so this takes a few moments. He staggers a little as he moves in the sand and ends up about ten feet from Skyler, trying to make sense of where he is. "Beaches make people comfortable who have regrets. The ocean represents freedom of navigation and boundless future. There is no past to be found with it's fascination." He finally lowers his arm and has a look around. But the guy goes quiet and the tension seems to drain out of him like water past a broken dam. A few labored breaths and he lifts his face to look towards the sun, eyes closed. And very, very slowly, a smile spreads across his face. "This is magnificent," he whispers, mostly to himself.

The woman doesn't take a step back. If she's afraid of him, she's put a lot into quelling those fears. Unlike most, she seems to be taking the route of treating him as something normal and acceptable. Everyone has their own ways to try to earn trust. She takes precautions, but a lot of the outright aggressive attitude has shed away. Someone has to be the good cop to Elias's Frown Cop. Skyler looks out to the ocean and then back, expression shifting a bit as he tips his head to the sun. Then again, after so long aboard ships… "There are times I've done the same when I visit," she admits, voice quiet. It's warm on the beach and she lifts hands to the neck of her flight suit; it's peeled away and tied off at her waist. The classic image of a pilot. At least she still has that.

"Why does the idea of human death bother you so much?" The question comes after a moment of quiet. "I ask for my own curiousity. I saw how my statement affected you last time we spoke. It was answer enough, but… Other than those who independently chose to go against their line, you're the first I've ever known to represent a line and still have a distaste for our kind dying."

The Twelve stares up at the star in the sky, absorbing the blue-white light with a very calm, pleased sigh. Even after she has asked, he stands in silence like a statue. Arms by his sides, face up, he smiles broadly and nods. There's something of satisfaction in his mannerisms, as if something was possibly confirmed. The wind blows his short hair and he reaches up, much like Skyler, and unzips the orange jumpsuit. It goes to his waist, leaving him in a single tanktop and it's tied off there as well. All the while, his face remains skyward as if absorbing everything.

"Why does it bother you?" He asks it, but it isn't quite so rhetorical as it is fundamental. "Break it down for me as to why the death of a human is so much a loss to another person? And I do not mean post-war with dwindling numbers, I mean in general." Hands lift and clasp behind his neck, still smiling skyward with his eyes closed.

"I asked you first." It's a childish sort of response and Skyler isn't taking it seriously. She looks, briefly, away from the Twelve and out to the water. There's a sort of longing look, as if a part of her yearns to dive into the crystal blue of it and go for a swim. The Orion may have a pool, but nothing can compare to the open water. To drifting with the sun on your skin. She's fortunate enough to always have that 'sun-kissed' look with darker skin, but it doesn't mean she doesn't seek more. Like many. The jig's gaze comes back to the Twelve. "Unlike you, we cannot come back. When we die, we take with us knowledge and potential. We take love, be it of family or friend. But being human…" She shrugs, arms folding. There is a step or two nearer, but the angle of arms hovers hand near her sidearm. Just in case. The MPs can bristle if they want; she's just playing her part in the grand game of officer versus marine. It gives them something to kvetch about later. "Being human, it's the emotional part that gets to us most. Knowing that someone we cared about, someone who fulfilled a part of us, is gone forever."

Listening, the smile fades a bit to something more thoughtful. When she finishes, the skinjob slowly bends to take a knee. His gaze drifts down, eyes opening, and he reaches an upturned palm into the sand. He lifts it, sifting the grains through spread fingers, watching it with his own personal pleasure. He then digs once more to do it again. "I think you've struck the point I wished to, but could not have done so eloquently." Squinting a little, he lifts his gaze to look back up at her. "Someone and all of their being is gone forever. Your loss represents much that is antithema to my own culture and people. We do not understand your loss in any way that would make sense or be understandable. For all the high and mighty that Six may throw down, he is still what he is. They will continue to download. They are no more human than I am. Sergeant Knox may legally be human - but he is not. He proved that." He looks back down to his hand and this time goes to both knees and relaxes there, cupping the sand into a single hand. "My line has its function, which we need not go into. But I will say that our curiosity is such that we've decided that judging humanity for actions of a few is wrong. You are individuals. We may not understand the emotionally visceral meaning of your losses, but we also respect that we do not understand it." A finger traces through the sand, bisecting it. The motion seems to have meaning to him. "What I mean to say is that because we do not share your biological condition does not mean we consider the death of a person idle. Each is unique. To lose something unique is a loss that we have not experienced. If we wish to potentially review our standing with regards to humanity, we must learn to respect it's ways rather than idly discard it. Especially in terms of loss, for it now defines you as a people."

This response seems to surprise Skyler. Her features shift, from something more focused to a measure relaxed. She doesn't move from her spot; somewhere within that initial ten foot range. His height and her tendency towards chairs during their talks has always led to him looking down to her. Now the role is reversed, but the woman just leans back on her heels, arms slipping a bit to cross more over abdomen than breast. The dual tanks gather and bunch, shifting her tags to catch briefly in the sun. "But loss seems to affect you in some way. You regretted the loss of the cruisers. You appeared pleased that I and those with me in the Raptor had survived. It seems… more than an understanding of the concept." She may be speaking to herself; reasoning aloud.

"Knox may not be human, no, but he became an individual. He has a name. He has his own desires. Is that-" Skyler goes quiet, looking down to her feet. She turns a toe into the sand and her fingers twitch at her sides. A wish to touch it, herself. It's been so long since she's been to a beach. Finally, drawing in a deep breath, she lifts dark eyes to regard the Twelve again. "Do you not have desires independent of the overall… purpose of your line?"

The guy nods slowly to the loss of the cruisers. "We may not understand your loss, but if we judge the One as being deficient or malintended with his purposes, then your loses could conceptually become our own as well. Not everything is as it seems, Lieutenant." She smiles a bit more, something wry about it. "It effected me because I am responsible for the loss of your people. My plan failed and people died. Those individuals were irreplacable, their loss conceivably as much as the military power of their vessels. Could a future President of the Colonies have been aboard? The potential of each weighs equally." He drops the bisected sand from his hand and moves it back to the beach. He draws a long line, straight, and makes an arrow. "This is the path we are all on and will take. The branch of choices and chance do not factor in as it is the only consideration. What matters is that everyone play their part. Every time a person is lost, this arrow changes direction." He smiles, tilting his head away. "Or does it? Perhaps we are not on a path of our own devices or choices. Your Raptor appears to have chosen to jump on its own accord to a safe place to witness something else." His hand reaches out and slowly wipes the line clear with a large swatch. The guy then moves off his knees and sits on his rear into the sand and sits cross-legged. Elbows rest on his knees, gaze turning back up. "If you want to take your shoes off and relax, you're welcome to. I've little quarrel with anyone here." He then looks out over the breaking waves of the reef. "I have desires, but they are incorporated by my line. We are who we are. My action with your ships will single me out, though. Perhaps it will define me as being something else. I do not fear it, but I question it. Sort of like approaching a closed door and being told your fate lies on the other side, good or bad."

The woman seems to consider for a long moment before she opts to sit down in the sand herself. There's no removal of shoes, no, but there is a glance to the MPs. A bit of a nod. THey get to remain alert. Four of them, one of the skinjob. The odds in her favor are relatively high. If nothing else, it's a break for her leg. It takes a moment, mind, and there's an expression of annoyance that crosses her features. Attempts to remain composed and play upon a noble background around the Twelve fails in the moment. She all-but flounders to a seated position, right leg extended out into the empty space between them. Skyler leans forward, rubbing absently at a point on the interior side of her knee.

"The way you talk reminds me of someone else," she murmurs, quietly. "…will happen again." That, almost silent, as she gives up on her leg and instead reaches a hand into the sand. There's something of a sigh with it, before she glances up. "Were your actions not something pre-determined by your line? Obviously you cannot all behave in the same way, at the same time. Physics alone makes that impossible." She looks to the water, then back. Her expression is a bit more set. "What the Six did… I'm guessing asking what he showed you is pointless, but it seemed like some sort of… data transfer, is that the right word?" She shakes her head, returning to her point. "What I wanted to know is can you do that to anyone? And if so… Can you show me what happened on the Pulse High?"

The Twelve leans away a bit as she moves to sit. It's a friendly gesture, granting her space while she's without balance. He only glances to the rubbed leg before looking back to the surf. "Not someone else. You're scriptures talk about how all of this has happened before, and all of it will happen again. Like its cyclical or something." He shakes his head, seeming more and more human as the minutes pass. "No. My line selected one of us at random to develop a plan and execute it. The physics you are talking about are closer to quantum-level. We behave as best to our line at any given time. We have no universal understanding without downloading. Even then, those that have not downloaded will not share their experiences to the whole until they have. It's less complex than I think you assign importance to." The questions have him sit and watch the surf for a bit, enjoying the silence with the sound of the waves. He closes his eyes as the breeze moves over him. "I could show you what happened on the Pulse High, yes. The question is whether or not you think that to be a smart request." he slowly looks back at her. "I could show you anything. For all the fleet knows, I could corrupt you. I could potentially do anything. You're in intelligence, Lieutenant. Who is to say I could not access your mind and pull out secrets?" He poses the question with a smile, looking at her. For a moment, it's very hard to forget that he's not human. Almost like watching a video of Knox. "What he showed me is what we call a projection. In simple terms, yes, it was a data transfer of memories. Imperfect memories. What he showed me was subjective, which means he showed me individuality. He showed me points of merit and sorrow. I could do this with you. But I don't think it wise." The six Marines standing guard, two in the distance, look on. Few can hear them except for the one with the GoPro.

The scriptures aren't something Skyler often thinks about, but there is a shift in her expression. As if something has been made clear. She doesn't expand, no, she just looks to the sand she's gathered up. A thumb across what's been gathered in her hand sends it back to the rest. Slowly, but surely. Finally tipping it all out of her hand, she looks back up to the Twelve. There's a look of consideration. "Could you? Access my mind? Is there a way to defend one's self against that?" There is a bit of the Intel persona rising up there as she inquires. "If there were a way to ensure safety in it, I would like you to show me, yes. I would like to trust you, because I know of enough hope that I can see it being good for the fleet if you have been true with us. Seeing what happened, it would help me do that."

Plucking at the front of her dual-tanks to cool off a bit, the woman does smile. Briefly. "Do you want to be an individual? I ask partly because calling you 'Twelve' is rather awkward at times."

The Twelve chuckles and shakes his head. "Oh come, now, Lieutenant. I'm not going to tell you our capabilities. If you don't know by now then I will not be the one to spill said beans. I will say this: I could show you anything I desired. I could show you your life, as I choose to picture it, in whole. From this point forward. I could give you fifty years of experiences or memories in ten minutes. Would you want to take that risk? Could you?" He looks to the Marine with the GoPro. "Would you risk your Lieutenant?" The Marine shakes his head. "I thought not."

"There is no way to ensure safety with anything I could show you. Zero. I could show you but there is no guarantee that anyone else has that you would not be compromised, nor the secrets of the fleet." He shakes his head and looks down again to the sand. "I will not." Which in itself says a lot. "I have no desire to be an individual, not to be part of the line. I have no desire either way. 'Twelve' is as apt a name as calling me anything else. Though… give me time. Enough time on this island, I may change my mind," he laughs. For the first time he really shows human emotion, laughing with the remark as any other person would to a joke. "I mean really, look at this view. I may not be a fan of the beach but this is something else."

"You can't hold curiousity against me," Skyler points out, blithely. The woman draws her left leg up to her chest, leaning against it. She's trying to enjoy the beach, herself. There's a lot of furtive glances to the water. It's plain as day, upon her features, how badly she'd like to go for a swim. What little she gives in is to lift a hand and pull the tie out of her hair, allowing it to fall around her shoulders… so that the breeze can pick it up. "I suppose that means if I were to ask you to perform a series of strength tests, you would also say no?"

That, a question that's been lingering for a bit. Knox left before she could ask him. There's a glance to the GoPro-wearing marine, then back to the Twelve. She looks rather surprised at the laughter and studies him more intently for a moment. "I know the Six was not Knox, but as the Major said… Knox is a marine, with duties." And was on a mission. The purpose of which is likely abundantly clear. "I've discussed Libran with you, to an extent. You're now on Piraeus. What's next? I would hope something more for us, or at least a combined effort."

The guy laughs again, shaking his head. "No, no I definitely cannot hold curiosity against you. It's a natural urge. We even carry it, but it's more fundamental to our nature." But he does watch her, the way she looks at the ocean. "Miss Almaeda?" he offers with a smile. The guy gestures to the water. "Go. I'm not going anywhere. The attack dogs will ensure it. Got for a quick swim. I'll even look the other way. We're here for me but I'm not going to deny you that. The longer you take, the longer I have to enjoy this place. Just an offer." He actually grins at her, a nice smile there. "As for strength tests? I suppose I could. Here. But I'm not going to be made a spectacle of on the ship for it. If you brought it, sure. Otherwise no." An easy remark from him.

"Next I hope to see what you glean from Libran. This has been, thus far, very eye-opening. I know the views of my line will be altered, but to an extent I have yet to make a full decision on. Knox was his own person, but now they are all Knox. To an extent. I don't seek to tarnish his name or place, only provide context to who you are dealing with. At the end of the day, he is still one of us. But as far as Libran goes, I only ask to read your after action reports. Perhaps talk to one of those involved. We know what is down there to some length, but not the current situation. We'll know of faked accounts. Easily. So in that? The ball is in the court of the colonials."

"Howabout this… Walk to the water with me? I won't get in fully, but I would like to feel it on my feet." And Skyler does start removing her boots, rolling up the legs of the flight suit with the ease of someone who has worn one often. She quite likely retained her own, even after the transfer. And, as if in afterthought as she works carefully on her right leg, revealing the fabric brace beneath: "You can call me Skyler, if you wish."

"We've spoken already of that those satellites are. Much as some folk would want to go to Libran, you and I both know any ship going cannot be guaranteed to make it back. Not unless we can disable that net." She looks to the Twelve, even as she starts the process of pushing to her feet. It's not a quick one, nor easy, by the flinch that crosses her features. "I could try to arrange for reports or to speak of those involved, once we go. I cannot guarantee that it will be allowed and I'm sure you know we would withhold anything we feel we must. But thus far? There has been the one recon. And you've already talked a fair bit with one of the people present for that."

The guy laughs and nods. "Fifty feet. That's what I was told." The water is a little less than that. He begins taking off his own slip-ons and socks, signifying enough. "Thank you, but I think I should continue to show respect here. That may be too personal for me." Once his shoes and socks are off, he rolls up the legs of his pants and slowly rises.

He does offer his hand to her. Just one, and with a lean. The Marines don't look too comfortable with it, and of the six, but he does it anyway. Aren't those two a little far out? Didn't they only come with four? "I've expressed my wishes. You can send me back without it, but my mission would still be considered incomplete. Certain things still ride upon your discoveries. I have a bit of time before I'm considered overdue, but I obviously cannot say when. We have our curiosities and judgments to make, though. We cannot do it without the aid of humanity." A pause. "No, that's not true. We could, but it would side ourselves clearly and we cannot risk that so early in our judgment."

"It means we can still talk and yes, we'll be within fifty feet." There's a moment of consideration at the offer, but Skyler does ultimately accept it. It means less floundering and it's an extension of what she's been trying to do all along. Show a measure of something - politeness, if not trust. A willingness to meet the Twelve, at least in the middle. She allows him to help her get to her feet, but is quick to withdraw once she's upright. The slight red at her features must be the sun. But it's then she notices something past the skinjob and as he speaks, she seems… distracted.

Her hand falls to her sidearm, but she does not draw it. And her attention isn't even on the Twelve for the moment, no. It's securely past him. "The other Raptor didn't land, did it?" This is asked of the marine with the GoPro, a quick glance his way. She keeps watching those two figures in the distance, a bit uneasy. "You two-" a gesture to two of the others. "Go see what's going on." Then a glance for the Twelve. She has to look up again. "If you can help me find a way around that net, I think I could get a team to the planet almost immediately after. But I think you can understand my reluctance to send people on a mission without any estimation of return. And how would I even provide you with intel to take back to the others in your line? Anyone I send would be cut off, indefinitely. I'm not keeping you away from Libran as a project to be difficult. There are simply things I don't have a workaround for yet."

Helping her up, the Twelve gives her the moment to step away and gives her a wide berth. The Marines watch closely and he doesn't seem intent on more. When she looks past him, though, he looks and stops. The far Marines stand watch. He clearly see's them, though. He stops for a full five seconds, looking past the closest Marine guards. "Were there not…" It drifts with the breeze and he shakes his head a few times, chuckling. "Sorry, must have been my eyes adjusting to the sun. Memory is failing me." The distant Marines are still there. Far enough that faces can't be clearly made out. By Skyler has seen those gear kits before.

"The other Raptor? No. I just, I thought there were only four on the trip down. I tried to count footsteps." He shakes his head, not understanding what Skyler may. When she gestures to the two closer Marines, he stops. No, he takes several steps away from Skyler to put distance between them while he looks to the two Marines.

The other two look to each other and then over their shoulders. They look confused and one of them begins to walk out the sand towards the two. Meanwhile the Twelve looks back, away from the two distant Marines.

"No, Lieutenant, there are no games here. If I had a way around the net, we would have used it. I can provide no such insight. You can return me without the intelligence on Libran, and only what I have now. It would not harm the cause of the Colonials. But this is part of my mission. I cannot solve the problem, only provide the request." As she looks over his shoulder, she can watch the Marine walking out to the two distant ones. The one with the GoPro even looks that direction for a moment, then back.

The woman is clearly distracted when she begins to pick up particular parts of the kit the two in the distance wear. "Frak," she murmurs, under her breath. There's a glance to the Twelve. A full sweep, down and up. Taking stock of the man for the moment as she thinks. She crouches, a bit, to grab her boots. The sidearm does not come free; whatever initial concern she'd had is past. "I, at least, would be happy to work with you on the problem that Libran presents, Twelve." Skyler cannot speak for others. "I am working on something, but it will be another month, at least. And I have no way of knowing if it will work, what the outcome will be, or even if command would wish to share it with you. But if you must return before that time, you can go knowing it was just time and not a matter of spite that kept it from you." She's already making to walk past him, towards those distant figures. It's a slow-going thing. Perhaps they'll meet her. "Stay inside the fifty feet. Please. I need to… talk to them."

The Twelve looks confused for a moment as Skyler gathers her boots. "I thought we were going to the water." He watches her and backs up several steps more, putting more distance. It's clear he doesn't want to be killed in some sort of random act. "Another month will not work. I've already been here two weeks. Perhaps we could work something out that may be mutually benefi.." and it fades as she starts to walk past him. The guy looks eminently confused as to what is happening.

The other Marine begins to approach the far figures and as he calls out, they both vanish. The Twelve isn't looking that way, but the others are. Every one of them jumps a bit. Ghosts.

Then there's a sound. Not just a single large blast, but a full-on burst from a battle rifle. From the Marine standing guard and keeping watch over the Twelve. The skinjob dives into the sand and puts his arms and legs out, yelling, "NO THREAT!!" at the top of his lungs, nearly pleading for it like a man about to die.

The Marine who fired, the one with the GoPro, is staring at empty space just beyond the Twelve, at head level, his rifle aimed at nothing. The three shell casings in the sand are still smoking.

"We were." The figures disappear and Skyler stops. Her jaw tightens a bit. Whatever she saw was enough that she put her back to the Twelve without second thought. It might be best that he stepped back. Her jaw tightens and she starts to turn back, preparing to explain. The blasts do to her what they do to most pilots; she hits the ground, too… and not without a strangled sort of sound from the way her leg has to move. It moves, but it isn't happy about it. Her hand goes to her sidearm, but she looks up and in the direction the Marine fired. "It's alright," she mutters, looking to the Twelve. It's a sort of startled look, as if seeing something new about him. Something she's barely withholding comment on for the moment.

To the marine, there's a level gaze. "It's them. Same as you've heard, I'm sure. Please refrain from firing if you see them again." To the Twelve, she doesn't get up just yet. It's going to take her a moment. Instead, she gathers her good leg under her, sits up, puts her sidearm away… and tries to right her hair. It leads to a moment of finger-combing and finally just drawing it back. As she's in the process of this, there's a sort of weary look to the skinjob. "The Major will have my ass for this," oh, she doesn't care if it's recorded right now. "But that was not directed at you, I don't believe. There are…" a flutter of eyelids as she considers, "natives on the planet. After a fashion."

The Twelve keeps his face in the sand, waiting to be shot. Arms out as far as they can go. Finger are even splayed. The guy clearly doesn't want to be shot. From the Raptor there's a shout from the ECO, "We're being painted!!!" And this is followed further by repeated cursing that they don't need to drop bombs. Apparently someone saw the rifle being fired near the Twelve from ten thousand feet up. Meanwhile the Marine who fired just stares at the blank space, breathing heavily. Several muttered curses leave him too before he looks back to Skyler. "Ye- yes, sir." The MP takes several unsure steps backwards and looks around, clearly frazzled by the whole experience.

The Twelve carefully lifts his head and looks to the Marine, then to Skyler. "Okay. That's nice. If it's all the same to you, I'd like to get the frak out of here now. I don't want to be shot by mistake. We can talk about this later?" No, the Twelve isn't going to do more than lift his head just yet. "Please? Can we leave?"

There's a tightness to Skyler's jaw as she stares in the distance, where the two figures had been. She glances down to the Twelve before giving a small nod. She starts pulling the boots on; in no rush to stand if only because her leg is already screaming at her. "Alright. We'll go back." There's a softness to her voice as she says it. The tone one might take when trying to help soothe someone frightened. Again, she's looking at the Twelve intently. Processing things. The more 'human' behavior since arriving on Piraeus. "Get your shoes on," she instructs him and there's no real command to it, just a suggestion… lest he not be thinking right.

Once her own are on, she waves to the two marines that had gone out to check out their 'friends.' A wave and a summoning sort of motion. "We're going," she calls, once she has their attention. It's the MP with the GoPro she reaches out to for a hand to her feet. Mostly because it takes an extra level of effort. "Get us ready to go," she calls towards the Raptor. She takes her time starting in that direction. Mostly waiting for the Twelve to be upright and ready to go. A glance for the marine that had the hood, originally, "Put it on him once we're aboard." This, said loud enough, that the ECO can make sure their panel is clear.

The Raptor's turbine engines are already spooling with a loud whine, even before Skyler says anything. they don't want to be there anymore. The Marines are already collapsing back and looking fairly spooked. Time to go. The ECO is still on the radio explaining that they are still in control and to 'check the mother frakking IR!' or something close to that. Meanwhile the Twelve is following the suggestion and pulling his shoes on while still on the ground.

One everyone is cleared up, he gets up and makes a break for the Raptor and dives in. To see him do it, he jumps into one of the normal seats and puts his hands up above his head as if in surrender. Eyes are already closed. "No threat." That's all he says. The Marines pile in after him and the rifleman whispers something to him after the hood is dropped down. It almost sounds like an apology. Everyone else belts down but nobody is looking inside the Raptor. All of them are looking out the windscreen.

Tahiti. It's a wonderful place.

The officer will need more assistance in boarding than she did back on the Orion. And though Skyler tries to contain most of it, she does make a few noises that clearly read 'pain.' Or more precisely: ow. The woman settles into a seat across from the Twelve, letting the MPs flank him after the hood is on. She gets herself buckled in after pulling the flight suit back on properly. There is a glance out the hatch before it's closed and she sighs. "Well, I hope that didn't frak up diplomatic relations." This, really, an aside to whichever of the marines sits next to her.

Once everyone seems to be settled, she looks towards the front of the Raptor. "Take us home." And to the ECO? "Let them know the intel officer says all is clear and to hold the frak off." Hey, maybe her clearance is good for something besides 'ability to view reports that make you want to lose your lunch.'

"I don't know why people were shooting but I'm not going to blame anyone until I know WHAT THE FRAK IS GOING ON!" Apparently the Twelve is a little disturbed. After all, three rounds from a 556 caliber passed within a few feet of his head. He's unhappy and probably understandably so. But the ECO gets on the radio and does his best to tell people that everything is cool. Everyone aboard.

There's a loosening of straps and Skyler leans forward. There's a light touch to the Twelve's knee. It's an attempt to soothe. He is shouting, afterall, and marines get testy when their charges shout. "I'll explain as best I can later." And then she's leaning back, casting a look at the GoPro. A look just for the Major. At least she's not going 'all religious' like some folks. "He's seen them already. Deal." All muttered to the mic before she settles in for the ride back to the Orion.


The ride back was fast. The overwatch Raptor kept the transport lit with a laser guided bomb until it was too fast to track. After that? Anyone's guess. The pilot of the transport just sounded like he wanted to get home and one the deck ASAFP. once they were, the Twelve was shuffled off fast back to the brig, still in his hood.

Once back into his cell, the guy rips off his own hood and tosses it back. His orange jumpsuit is covered in sand and it's tied around his waist like any off-duty individual. Apparently there were no cuffs or shackles on Piraeus. he just plops back onto his bed and runs his hands over his face - almost like he's glad to be back home. Something happened and it wasn't cool by his own book. And that's where they find him, staring off into space in his cell, hands laced behind his head.

The Lieutenant, who was the primary force organizing the little field trip… Made a side trip to medical after they returned. A clear check that she didn't do anything too severe to her leg and some mild pain killers later, she's soon back to the brig. Changed from flight suit to blues, with proper brace back in place. Once within the area, she grabs a chair and pulls it up nearer the bars (but not right up against them, obviously) to sit down heavily.

"Those last few minutes aside," she says after she's situated and taken a moment to compose herself, "I hope the visit satisfied whatever curiousity you had before going down there."

Elias has been informed of some sort of shenanigans. His tight-lipped expression makes that all too clear. Finding the Twelve in his brig cell is some consolation, as is seeing Skyler still alive. Sure, it could still be a disaster, but at least he can spare a moment to wave the woman who's following him past the MPs and into the brig. "As advertised," Elias says to Naomi, tipping his head towards the cell in question. There's an expectant look at his fellow Intel Officer, but otherwise he doesn't seem in a rush to interrupt whatever was happening when he entered.

Naomi steps inside, somewhere along the way having cast off her lab coat. She approaches the bars, staring at the man inside with an inscrutable look on her face before curving her fingers around them. For a moment, the humans don't exist as she stares at the man intently.

"Yes, it was satisfied. Very, very well." There's no double entendre or hidden meanings. No joke to be had. The Twelve seems to have appreciated it well enough but is still reeling from being shot-at. Or near. Perhaps his first time facing a real death, up close and personal. Hearing Elias' voice doesn't seem to trigger any sort of reaction, though. The guy stares straight ahead for a bit. Gunfire that close would probably disturb anyone, being that it was unexpected and outbound. But when the Eleven enters, he looks over and rises very suddenly. "You've seen it, right? You've been to the planet?" He looks directly at her.

When the Major enters, Skyler looks over. The woman straightens, but she does not stand. She doesn't seem to care, either, that the chair might be closer than wholly 'acceptable' range. The Twelve could reach her. It'd be with effort and not recommended, due to the MPs, but still a possibility. But there's a mix of weariness and a sort of inherent challenge in her gaze. "Major." It's a simple greeting before she's looking past him to the other arrival. There's an arch of brow, but she doesn't say anything. There's just a brief nod for Naomi, before her gaze returns to the Twelve in his cell. She nods with his answer, refraining from adding anything further. Instead, she just presses palms into the tops of her knees, watching between the two. Naomi and the Twelve.

"Of course I have." Naomi says matter-of-factly. Over her shoulder to Elias she notes, "I couldn't have picked him out in a crowd, and he couldn't have picked me out in a crowd, but we know each other." She turns her gaze back to the Twelve. "This is where we're supposed to be." she says matter-of-factly. "This is the path God has laid out for us. A nod of acknowledgement for Skyler, before she goes back to the Twelve. "What do you call yourself?"

Skyler gets a rather long and pointed look from Elias. They'll be speaking later, it seems. And then he gives a quick nod for Naomi's comment. After that? It seems the Major plans to leave them all there in the brig. "I want to see the video footage," he tells the nearest MP, directing the man towards the hatch. "Now." And then he's following the Marine out.

The Twelve looks like he might bristle, but doesn't. Hearing the words of the Eleven, he just stares at her. "Twelve. I don't have a name." An unsaid 'yet' remains unspoken. Something has obviously disturbed this example of skinjob, maybe in more ways than one. "You-" He looks directly at the Eleven from behind the bars. "Tamsin? We'd heard rumors you were around the Orion."

And in this, Skyler just returns the Major's look. There's nothing to be done for it, what's done is done. So she turns forward and leans back to watch the two speak. With only mild pain killers and the 'good' brace freshly worn, she's not about to do a lot of moving. Instead, the woman crosses her arms and observes. There's a glance to the camera in the room, but only for a split second.

"I'm sure you have." Naomi replies, loosening her fingers and stepping back from the bars. "The Elevens are a chatty bunch, little brother. We left the Ones frothing at the mouth when they realized they couldn't control us anymore. Did the scales balance for you when you were down there?"

Twelve listens, watching the Eleven. Even as she speaks, he just looks at her. When she departs, the guy runs a hand over his head and turns away. This is a lot to try and deal with at once. Invisible people? Getting shot at? Asking about the scales? He turns and moves back to sit on the bed.

There's a glance after the Eleven and Skyler's brow furrows. The woman looks to the hatch, half-expecting the Major to be demanding her presence right the frak now. When no such comes, she turns back and looks forward. A moment of silence as she watches the Twelve take a seat. "I have theories. About the planet. Some pertain to your kind, some don't." A glance to where Naomi just departed. "Some are becoming clearer, though. Meant to be." The last three words murmured to herself. She pushes upright, gingerly, taking a half step closer to the bars. "I already told you of the inability to fulfill your third request due to time. Is there anything else I can do, to make this…" she casts a glance around the cell, jaw tightening. There's a forced sort of smile. She's trying not to be overcome by her own nerves. "I could probably secure you a magazine or two. Got a porn preference?"

"I don't want to hear your theories, Lieutenant. I just don't." The guy leans forward, putting his head into his hands. It's been a rough day so far. "Either you can fulfill the request in under a month or send me back. Take your pick. But I'm going back with what I've been through. So you can pick what you want to tell me but for right now, I just don't want to hear it." Hands drag over his face and leaves him just able to look at her. "Rules say I don't have to se you if I don't want to. I won't make a demand. Just go. I'll talk when I'm ready. In the meantime, prep a Raptor if you can't get me Libran within the next month." Hands go back down to cover his face. He seems done.

A look of frustration crosses Skyler's features. She crosses her arms, hovering there for a moment to stare at the Twelve. "I think you should know what happened. If you go back thinking we took you out there to try to kill you, it will be with false knowledge." There's a bit of an edge to her tone. A barbed way to try to appeal to the arbiter in what is rapidly becoming more 'man' than she knew the first time they spoke. "I'll see what I can do about Libran. When you're ready to hear about what happened today- ask for me." There's a step and a half-turn. She seems about ready to go, but hesitates. Lips part as if to say more, but the woman ultimately just gives a small shake of her head before starting for the door.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License