AWD #045: Thanks, Dad!
Thanks, Dad!
Summary: The trio on Picon travel throughout the day and come across something unexpected.
Date: 20/02/2013
Related Logs: After Bushwhacked, Before Picon Fireside Chat
Petra Emilia Kelsey 
PICAWN
Its a lot of locations, mostly outlined in the desc of the room in Bushwhacked.
Feb 20 2005

Kelsey was the first to rack and the first to rise, so she took the last watch and sat up from around 4am until dawn. Longer than she should have, but Kels doesn't seem much in the mood to sleep. While the others slept, she sat in view of the cracked door and watched the outside absently, staring off into the distance. So far its been quiet. She probably hasn't made much of a sound all night until she crinkles open a small package of crackers from her survival kit. Breakfast time.

Emilia's sleep was fitful at best, hinting at a distinct inability to relax enough for true rest. Sitting up abruptly as the sound crackles, she presses the heels of her hands against her eyes and makes a faintly pained noise. "Tomorrow will be even worse," she states in a low, gravely voice. "We need to get moving again," she adds with the paranoia of someone who has experienced this before, her eyes automatically looking out the doorway.

Petra took the middle watch, so a little sleep at first, and a little sleep at the end, so it takes both Kelsey moving around AND Emilia stirring to jolt himself awake, a little shudder running down his frame and a gasp of breath before his eyes open. Reminding himself where he is, he lets his breath go in a sigh and slowly sits up, rubbing at his eyes, "Ah, frak me, its been a long time since I went camping on the ground." To Emilia's comment, he nods and blearily blinks his eyes open, "Yeah, yeah. They dont find the bodies they are looking for, they're going to expand their search or post notices with all of their units. How much territory does his unit claim control over?"

Kelsey eats her cracker one bite at a time, watching the Captain get up. Her eyes drift back out to stare past the doorway and towards the road. "Two trucks drove by an hour ago, no lights on. They were going south," she states idly, popping another cracker in her mouth. "Suppose the river water is safe to drink?" she wonders. It flows south, directly out of the snowy peaks. There's a good chance its as fresh as it could get.

"It'll do the job for now," Emilia says to Kelsey, pushing herself slowly to her feet. She has the look of someone who is aching and she hisses softly as she swings her arms back and forth. "Bancroft has direct authority over five or six million miles maybe?" She squints into space before nodding slowly. "Still, the whole fraking planet resistance is technically under his command."

Petra grunts softly at the answers and nods, "Well, I guess Spree is about the only chance we have, short of a miracle situation. Alright then. If we happen to stumble across an abandoned house, I probably should be looking for some clothes I can change into, so I can get out of these. There's getting noticed, and then there's asking to be seen. River water it is." He lumbers up to his feet and eyes Kelsey for a moment, offering the woman a faint smile, "You alright, Wescott?"

Kelsey eats her other cracker and slowly stands in place. She dusts off her rump and goes for her helmet in the corner. "That sounds like a big area," she says quietly. "Do you guys think Spree will help us?" she asks. Petra's question has her stop, though. The young woman looks at the ground and shakes her head. "No, but does it matter? I'm not falling apart and I'll soldier on." Hands are dusted and she leans against the doorpost. "If you guys want to move, I'll bring up the rear."

"I think Spree'll be your best bet," is Emilia's response. She's staring out the door again, a faint line between her brows. "Damn it, there's at least one other I'd like to get out from under Bancroft's control too but things may well be frakked in that department." She exhales and looks toward Petra, raising a brow. "Ready to hoof it, sir? And yeah, a change of clothes would be good. For all three of us, really. And I need to wash up." She's still dirty and blood streaked, both skin and hair.

Petra mms and shakes his head, "It does matter. You tell me if that changes." With that said, he nods at Emilia, "We can take five minutes to wash off a little at the river, then lets get moving. We'll take advantage of whatever we run across on the way." He waits for the other two to be ready to head out, while he digs out a package of crackers out of his own pack. Breakfast of Champions, indeed.

Kelsey holds on to her flightsuit and zips it up. She doesn't seem inclined to give it up so easily and she glances towards Petra and back to the surrounding terrain. She doesn't comment further on his observations, either. Kelsey isn't smiling at all. Once the other two are going, she follows them out towards the river.
The river. Its about one hundred yards across and is very cold. The bottom of it looks to be all smooth river rock and pebbles, most it very clear. It doesn't get murky until roughly ten yards out where the current picks up and it gets much deeper. Along the edge are fish swimming in the shallows. Mountain fresh, indeed.

Emilia only eats a pair of crackers herself, running the half-empty packet beetween her fingers before tucking it away. She heads for the river and, with only a few grunts and shivers, does a quick, brutal wash of her face and hair. She's scrubbing at her hands and arms when she looks at the others. "We need a vehicle today if possible. How's our radio situation and how long til your ship will be looking for you?"

Petra kneels down on the rocks beside the river, bending down to wash the blood from yesturday out of his hair, making a passable effort to wash off his uniform arm, which doesn't really do much good other than soak it and smear the remaining blood. Slinging his arm out to dry it off, he considers the question and shakes his head, "We were due back on Friday. Assuming Bancroft doesn't send word to them ahead of time somehow and claim the Cylons killed us…they might send someone in three days. Its a war zone, however. Can't really count on that, since they still think Bancroft is friendly."

"I've got my survival radio, sir," Kelsey says as she kneels by the river. She dips in her small water bladder and takes along drink from it while she sits back and stares up at the sun as it comes over the foothills. "I'm due for a meeting with our Sister on Friday evening. Flightplan indicates back Friday by seventeen hundred without prior clearance." Kels sniffs, but doesn't wash herself off. "If he's willing to kill us, sir, doesn't it make sense that he would tell them we are dead?" Kels watches a fish swim by tracing its route with her eyes.

"Probably. Though he isn't the most stable sort lately." Emilia is good at stating the obvious. She grunts. "What I wouldn't give for a raptor—even a battered one. I could make it behave long enough to at least get to Spree's territory." She licks her lips then adds, "Provided she doesn't take Bancroft's orders about you. And me."

Petra mutters, "If we had a Raptor, we'd be getting our asses back to Orion, but I'll take risking Spree as an alternate." he pauses and checks his sidearm again before stepping away from the river, waiting for the other two before taking off in the direction they were heading before they stopped the night before, "That's why Im saying we can't depend on being missed. If Bancroft is smart, he'll report us downed, say he found all the bodies, and will arrange transport back to Orion soon, then say something about the transport getting hit. They'll never come looking for us, and write us off as KIA."

Kelsey fills her water bladder again and caps it off, sticking it back into her flight gear. "I dunno how we'd get to Orion, sir. I can work an FTL, but I have no idea how to plug in the locations or anything." She gets up lethargically, moving to follow. "Everyone is going to think we are dead. It gives Banz-O all the free time to kill us. But… sir, if he thinks the Admiral and Commander are both dead? Do you think-?"

"I'm not completely sure what he thought he'd be accomplishing by killing the commanding officers of…." Emilia's voice trails off and she's starting into space, gnawing on her lower lip. "He knew you were all Orion, yes?"

Petra murmurs, "Wescott, I'm the /Tactical/ Officer. Who do you think programs the jumps for Orion?" He smiles a little at that, but it fades rather quickly at the discussion, "That's the only thing going for us in that respect. If he reports that the Admiral and Commander are dead and that he found their bodies, and not mine…Jameson and Faulkner are sharp cookies. They'll add 2 and 2 and come up with 'assassination attempt'. As for WHY he did it? I dont know. Maybe he thinks we should be here at his disposal, slugging it out until we're destroyed. We'll figure out the why later once Im sitting behind a nuclear launcher and several feet of armor."

Kelsey slows to a stop with all this talk. She in the back so it might take a minute to notice this. "Sir," she calls quietly, face looking a little pale. "Sir? You know where P is? You know the jump coordinates?"

Emilia turns and looks at Kelsey, keeping her own thought to herself for now. She studies the girl's face then asks quietly, "Any particular reason that this idea seems to bother you?"

Petra winces a little at Kelsey's words and lightly shakes his head, though he stops and half turns to look behind him, "Kelsey. I can get us back to Orion. Right now, we need to get the frak out of here and to a place we aren't going to get shot on sight." Whether or not the OCD TACCO remembers a 15 digit string of numbers, he's certainly acting like he does.

Emilia's expression slowly changes as she looks from one to another. "Wait. Where is Orion stationed?" That's said in a low, almost angry voice.

Kelsey stares after him, even as he turns to keep going. She looks ill. After a moment of sway, she doubletimes it and trots up to walk beside him. She glances up at him and he'll know pretty quickly that he has a shadow. For the first time, there is eye contact there and its the exact same look she gave him right before she pulled his ejection handle. But Kelsey doesn't answer Emilia directly. Or even at all, really. She has her own orders. "What should I do with the camera, sir? I have pictures of Orion on it. Of Buzzkill and Shoes."

Petra sighs softly, a wry smile touching his face. He finally looks at Emilia and lowers his voice, "Somewhere safe, and that's all I can really say at the moment." As the group starts off again, he considers the second question and asks, "Unless you had the brilliant insight to take any pictures of the folks that tried to kill us…no, wait. Hang on to it. The next time you see or hear someone looking for us, you get that camera out and take pictures. I want photos to nail these assholes with when we get back."

Is Emilia suddenly paranoid? Yes. Yes, she is. She lets the other two get a little ways in front of her before she starts to walk again and when she does, there is reluctance in every step she takes. But then, she -was- just shot down by her own side, her ECO killed. That's enough to make everyone paranoid.

Kelsey looks over her shoulder at the Captain and then back to Petra. "What about her, sir? Should I get a picture of her? I mean, I can just be miss shutterbug, if you want? I got extra batteries and a big thumb drive for the camera. It even does video, I guess." She stops to wait for Emilia and looks back. "Colonel Petra is nice, sir. I have pictures of our ship if you wanna see them? Lots of people. Not like those Cylon-people and there's probably only a few. You can see the hangar deck n everything. I promise. I'm real. Pinkyswear, sir." She holds up her pinky in offering.

Petra mms, "Might as well, just in case we get separated and need to relocate her. They want her just as dead as they want us dead, and I'll be damned if we leave anyone behind." He lowers his voice a bit and starts, "If for some reason I get taken, you need to…" he stops himself and shakes his head, "You need to get your ass back to Orion and warn them, however you can. As long as they dont know what I am, then they are probably still safe. Alright?" With that said, he glances back at Emilia and lifts one brow, "Captain?"

Emilia looks at the pinky and the young face and seems especially pained. "You are a -kid-," she says in horror. Then, she studies Petra and starts to move forward again, still reluctant and still unhappy. She doesn't take the pinky swear. "The Picon forces likely wouldn't leave. But I'm not from Picon. And they tried to kill me. I'll leave. Let's find a way to do so." At least she isn't holding on to her weapon anymore.

Kelsey can follow logic. She's already taking out the camera when she hears that. Her blood runs cold and she she manages to get a picture of Emilia as she looks at Kelsey in horror. It leaves Kelsey in one awkward position and she dips her head, putting the camera back away. "I'm not a kid, sir," she says quietly, moving off once more and falling quiet as she comes in beside Petra.

Petra murmurs, "Wescott hasn't been a kid for a while, Captain. She has a daughter of her own. We're all old men and women after this. Lets just stay the frak alive to enjoy it and get /off/ this messed up situation." He reaches out to thump Kelsey lightly on the shoulder with one fist, then focuses on moving forward and not on thinking about their current problems.

"Yeah, I guess so." It may be the shock of seeing the younger woman in a flight uniform or just the horror of everything. Emilia's expression goes hard and she continues to march in the appropriate direction. "They're all messed up situations," she says quietly, concentrating on her steps.

Kelsey takes the chuck to the shoulder and leans into him briefly as they walk. Its almost like watching a father and daughter interact. She walks in silence for a few moments and reaches up to a zippered pocket of her flightsuit. Two fingers reach in and she removes a picture to show Emilia. Its of Kels in civilian clothes hugging a toddler with the same bright blue eyes, the daughter of about three or so. "Have you seen her? Her name is Melissa Wescott. She was traveling with her great gramma and my parents. We lived about six hundred miles east of here. Does she look at all familiar? Maybe you've heard her name?" Hard to blame her for trying.

Petra lets a heavy breath escape him, watching the treeline extending down along beside the river, while the three use it for cover. He waits for a while after Kelsey's asked about her daughter before he pipes up himself, "You've been here since the opening shots were fired, Captain? Were you stationed here, or was it just your bad luck to be caught here when the nukes started flying?"

"No. I haven't." Emilia looks at the picture then away, shaking her head slightly. "If she's made it, she'll be in one of the armories probably. Two are in Bancroft's control, two in Spree's." And then she pushes ahead further, hissing out a breath. "I watched Fleet Command get nuked so yeah. I was stationed there and we were on a weekend duty rescue run and then they attacked. I was shot down by a toaster shortly after that." She looks dissatisfied. "I'm going to scout ahead." And with that, she takes off at a brisk walk.


They continue on their trek, hours stretch and the sun is moderately warm considering the early Autumn to the hemisphere. Sticking to the valley, its mostly a dodge from cover to cover and using the trees to keep them shielded from view of the road. It can be slow-going at times but that's the nature of evasion. But coming towards early evening, its time for a break and the trio is finishing up a quick breather by the river and its probably about the right time to look for a place to bed down for the night. But decent ground has been made, probably more than ten miles. A drop compared to the 400 needed, but progress is progress.

Getting away from people who want to kill them? This is a win in Emilia's mind. She's still paranoid but that seems to ease the longer they go without any real threat, the more she's able to at least relax a little—at least a little tiny bit. She keeps her hand near her gun as they move along and, in a reminder, adds, "Just keep your ears peeled. Not a lot of toasters around but there are at least a few in small patrols. In addition to all the other threats." That, at least, is said in a wry voice.

"I'm surprised we haven't run in to anything else yet. You'd think this place was a war zone or something…" Well, at least Petra hasn't lost his sense of humor, even if he probably really should have. Water is refilled from the river and tucked back into the survival pack as he nods in agreement with Emilia's observation, "I dont suppose YOUR survival pack had a local map in it, did it?" He doesn't look that hopeful that the answer is going to be positive, while considering the surroundings downrange, looking for possibilities for a stopping point before it gets too damned dark to see.

Kelsey trudges along behind Petra, still not having said much all day. She's bringing up the rear, but sticking close to him. If she weren't doing-so, it might be easy to forget she's even there.

Despite the hushed tones, though, there is something. Or someone. As they walk towards a small clump of trees, there's suddenly movement by the closest tree and a young guy, about twenty or so, sticks his head around the tree and smirks. "Howdy." He rustles his shoulders a few times, jostling his pants, and there's the sound of a zipper as he shakes a leg. Head to toe, he's in Marine camo. Rifle slung, helmet on, vest full of gear like grenades and a radio. He steps back out from behind the tree. "Few more seconds and that might've been a bit embarrassing," he observes with a chuckle, glancing back to the tree he was using.

Emilia's snapped around and raised her gun once she has registered who is present. Her paranoia is back and raging and adrenaline has momentarily washed away any exhaustion she had. She frowns at him but seems to be letting Petra take the lead for now.

Petra instantly reaches for his sidearm when the face appears, going from guarded to tension in zero seconds flat. When it becomes more obvious what the man is up to, or WAS up to, he relaxes and thinks quickly, "Son, you need to be careful popping your head out like that. We're a little gunshy about the toasters." He pauses, "What the hell are you doing out here by yerself?"

Behind Petra, Kelsey's gun can be heard to unholster but she becomes a stone. Where is that barrel pointed?

The young guy in front of Emilia staggers back at the pulled gun, hands lifting. "Holy shit!-" Another step back and his heel catches on an exposed root and he tumbles backwards and falls on his rear and back. "Ah, godsdamnit, that hurt," he mutters, a hand moving back to where the rifle probably bruised his side at an exposed point on the bodyarmor. He makes a pained expression and looks up at the group. "Me? Look at you, dressed in fancy blues," he snorts gesturing to Petra. "Frak, man, I ain't nine feet of chrome lovin. You greet everyone this way?" He slowly starts to get back up. "Aw man, I fell in my piss."

Emilia's hands keep the gun up and she continues to watch silently. Yes. This is one tense chick. She keeps her hands steady at least and, perhaps for the young guy's comfort? Her finger is off the actual trigger.

Petra takes an extra second or two before he murmurs, "As you were, Captain," and slowly steps up to offer the man in fatigues a hand to help him up, "Sorry, we just watched someone get shot down and bombs going off, so we kinda assumed the fighting was close by, then you show up armed like the Apocalypse and, well…" He trails off, studying the man's face for a moment before he asks, "My name's Marc. You are?"

He takes the hand-up and sighs, looking at the two women in flightsuits. "Regular group of strangers, you are. In case you all haven't heard, the apocalypse happened. Sucks, but looting can be fun." He turns to look at his pants and swipe the extra liquid off. "Man, now I gotta wash this stuff," the guy grumbles and looks back. "Marc? I'm Jeff Floyd. Staff Sergeant, supposedly. But they're handin out ranks like candy to us." He taps a few fingers to his helmet at seeing the pins on Emilia. "Cap'n." Jeff looks back to Petra. "And hell nah man, you gotta be crazy to go wanderin around alone. Back with my squad over there." He gestures towards the ruins of a house by the road.

Smiling faintly, Emilia slowly holsters her gun. But she keeps the strap off and her hands down by her side, in case she has to grab it quickly again. She nods at the acknowledgement of her rank but doesn't offer a name. Hers is a bit distinctive, after all.

Petra glances back at Emilia and Kelsey then regards Jeff again, "Yeah, well, you're right about the wandering around alone thing. Tell me. Which way are you and your group heading? Our transportation ran into a little explosive problem and we're not looking forward to having to walk the whole way back. Mind if I ask who your unit is with? Maybe it's someone we can strike a bargain with for a lift."

Jeff snorts. "No shit, man. Last time I wander off for a peaceful leg-shakin alone." The rest his his brow lift. "First Platoon, Able Company, One-Hundred Third Mountain. Rest of our platoon is about two days ahead." He gestures for them to follow and steps off towards the house. "We were down near Menderson Point checkin out reports of a new construction site. We didn't find nothin, though. Our Gunny had us check out ridgeline to the south but it was all on foot so we got shafted with a two-day hike. Frak that noise, yanno?" He hangs a hand off the strap of the rifle and walks with a lazy gait. "But sure, man. You need a lift, we can help. We're headin back northbound to the CP. Probably a two days drive, but whatever." The directions the Orion had to Bancroft's Command Post had it local to here. Not two day's drive.

"Yeah, that's the worst. I hadn't heard about -another- new construction site yet," Emilia says. Something about her voice hints that she has at least heard if one project at least. "Just the one over by the graveyard."

Petra was mentally running through the list of units he knew reported to Spree when the man mentions heading north. He manages to look vaguely disappointed and shakes his head, "We got some folks depending on us the other direction, though if you ARE heading north? That's where we heard all the explosions going off and saw someone get shot down, so might want to load for bear and watch where you walk." He half turns to give Kelsey a look, but doesn't say more, just making sure she's back there.

"Man, you heard about that shit, too, Cap?" Jeff asks with a chuckle. "I don't buy it. You can't even get close to that yard. The idea of shovin a team down there to even report sounds like bunk rumor. You could get it with a Raptor, I suppose, but you can only tell so much from the air. Reeks of crap. I think its just somethin someone is stirrin up to get people paranoid about Ol Banes." He shrugs. "Which is another question altogether, but whatever." There's a glance to Petra and then back forward. "Sorry man. South is headin towards Spree's playground. That's outside our zone. Didn't realize anyone got shot down around here. That seems a little bizarre. Canners don't really come down to play much anymore." Approaching the house, he points around the corner. "Gunny's name is Phil Watkins. Pretty chill until you piss him off. Don't talk about cats or kids. Gets his goat. Especially kids with cats." Coming around the corner, there's a group of 'Marines' sitting in the front yard by two trucks. Everyone is heavily armed, as expected, but they look like they are taking a break. …but there's something a bit unnerving about seeing a fourteen year old boy in camo and eating an MRE. Or a fifteen year old girl fixing someone else's rifle with a basic toolkit. The Gunny turns to look at the group and just stares, a bit dumbfounded.

Kelsey is there, trailing behind, just not saying anything to anyone.

Well, this won't end well. This won't end well at all. "Yeah, it was kinda crazy, you know? I think it is a loada shit too but you know how they get." Emilia keeps her voice casual but there is a hint of tension in her frame as the group of Marines becomes visible.

Petra reminds himself as he counts. Three, four, five, too many to take, but CLEARLY these folks havent heard about any hunt for people, so there's a chance they might be in the clear. Just the same, he's not terribly keen on getting introduced to the man that's staring at them now, "Ah, tell you what though, since you've been around looting the places, you wouldn't happen to know if you've run across a truck or four wheeler that might still be running? Like I said, not real up on having to walk the whole way back to ANVIL."

Jeff shrugs. "Honestly? Even if anyone could get into that sector? So what? It ain't botherin us. We just blow the damned things up anyway." He looks back towards The Gunny and lifts his chin. "Yo Guns, these three found me takin a piss. This is Marc, and the nameless," he says, gesturing to the two women. "Marc and The Nameless, meet Second Squad." They sort of stare at the trio for a moment, checking out their flightsuits and officers blues, but go back to their conversations. Not exactly big on rank or decorum here. Most people are eating. The girl with the gun hands it back to an older boy, giving him hell about something to do with mud in the receiver. Jeff looks back to Petra and shakes his head. "Man, you're goin all the way to ANVIL? Shyooooot. Best of luck, bro. The nukes played hell with the land. Rockslides all over those mountains. Best way in is either horseback or flyin." The Gunny is finishing off a chewing his food and he dusts his hands on his pants, extending one to Petra to shake. "Ey Marc, I'm Phil." These guys are professional Marines like Kelsey is a professional pilot. "Jeff ain't kiddin. You said you're tryin to get to Spree? You're a long damned way from home." He eyes the matching Orion patches with a WTF face.

"I love riding," Emilia says without thinking, a faint grin on her face. -That- is a genuine comment, at least, the sort that makes her seem more relaxed. She doesn't bother to offer an explanation for their presence, just….makes it seem like it isn't weird they are there and that she just wants to get back to base. Yup

Petra allows himself a small smile, "Well, flying would be great, but unless you folks know of a spare raptor in the neighborhood, we'll keep looking for the next best thing." He shakes the hand offered to him, noting the look on the man's face, "Good to meet you, Gunny. You'll have to forgive our appearance, you kinda grab clothes where you can find em. He tells me you're heading back off to the north, so I take it you came up from further back that way…" He nods off in the direction the three were heading, "Anything you can warn us about that way?"

Phil chuckles to Emilia. "Good, good. Ya'll are going to be doing some of that if that's where you're headed." The Gunny looks back to Petra and slowly strips off his helmet. He runs a hand through his hair and sighs. Its easier to tell that this guy is in his late twenties, but the last month has aged him far beyond that. "Hell man, I'm not gonna bitch about your clothes. But you might wanna find something else," he chuckles and then glances back to the south. "Not really. The foothills taper off about forty more miles down. There isn't a lot though. Most of the same stuff you see here. We came through there about an hour ago, looked clear. Crossed paths with another group of Marines settin up an observation post in a belltower. They just said to let them know if we run into anyone up here. Said we'd be lookin for a couple of enemy agents. Two or three of them. One female, one male, probably." He leans on the truck and looks them over with a skeptical smirk. "You three look about as threatening as a hot meal. You the 'enemy agents' we're supposed to phone in?" Nobody seems to be paying much attention. The Gunny seems pretty relaxed about the whole matter, though.

"I'm just someone dying for a shower here," Emilia says in a dry voice. "Been a bit since we were able to get one of those. I think the biggest threat from me would be death by soapsuds." She does look a little dirty and rough, at the moment.

Petra smirks at the comment about enemy agents, "Gunny, if we're someone's enemy agents, they dont have much to worry about. My daughter and I just wanna get back to the mines and get back to helping the folks that can REALLY fight - I dont know how you guys do it. The Captain here was good enough to come with us rather than do it alone." Belltower. Got it. Stay the hell away from any town they find with a belltower.

"No kidding, Cap. You look like you could use one. No worries. Best bet? Get a tankard of water from the river and let it sit out in the sun for a few hours and warm up. Use dirt to scrub, then wash it off. Then wash your clothes in the water left over. Just use dirt again. Wash it all out in the river." The Gunny gestures over to the flowing water and looks back to Petra. "Right." He glances over the Kelsey who is talking to the younger troops and asking them if she can get a picture with them. The Gunnery Sergeant looks back to Petra. "Uh huh." He snerks a laugh and shakes his head. "Look man, sir, Marc, whoever you are? I don't much give a crap. We look for enemy agents, we look for people who look like each other. Or look like ones we already know about. You three don't look like the others we know about and seeing three new ones walking through Ol Banes' area like this? Hell man, those odds are long as hell. You're friendly, you're talkin, you're trying to get to Spree. She's a good lady. Far as I'm concerned? I didn't see any enemy agents so it's not worth phonin in." Phil shrugs andturns for a moment totake up his bag of food. "We got some extra MRE's if ya want," Phil offers before he eats some more from the baggy. Looks like stroganoff.

"How about clean civvies?" Emilia asks, fingering her stained clothes and nodding to the blood on Petra's gear. "That and some MREs would be like a gift from all the Lords of Kobol at once." She offers a wry smile, shrugging a bit as she does.

Petra lifts one brow at the offer, "That'd be damned decent of you, Gunny. Thank you." He nods once at Emilia and indicates the bloodstains running down the arm of his vest, "It was this or go shirtless, but if there's any clothes left inside you guys don't need or didn't grab, I'd love to get the hell out of these. Uniforms sure as hell weren't made for cross-country hiking."

"Sorry, Cap. No extra clothes. But we can probably spare a ruck and maybe a dozen MREs? We cleaned out a market of some canned stuff and it beats the hell out of this crap." Phil looks over his shoulder. "Jeff," he gestures. "Get 'em the extra bag and fill it with the shitstoppers." The Staff goes about it and Phil looks back. "Wish I could help ya, but I draw the line at the shirt off my own back, yanno?" He smirks and glances to Kelsey once more as she gets a big, beaming smile for the photo. Gunny looks back to Petra with an easy grin. "Cute kid. Like I said, dunno who you are, ain't my business, but its pretty plain you guys aren't looking for trouble. If those asshats are lookin for you? Frak 'em. Steer clear of the belltower south of here about ten miles. I'd suggest the foothills. But your call. Should be fairly easy terrain. There aren't a lot of canners in this sector, but they're out there. If you can get there, we saw a herd of horses down about thirty miles. Look for the big purple bridge over the river. Go another couple miles south and the fenced area is on this side of the river. Should be good to get your gear there." He eats another bite.

Emilia is mentally filing away all the directions, listening carefully. "She's cute, isn't she?" she asks the Gunney casually, nodding toward Kelsey. "You know, we're just looking to not get into trouble." Understatement. "The MREs will help hugely though. We haven't seen any canners either but you know that doesn't necessarily mean anything. The frakkers."

Petra sets his jaw for a moment while he listens, and nods slowly, lowering his voice, "You're a good man, my friend. When this shit comes to an end, I hope I get the chance to buy you a cold one. You sure as hell deserve it." He glances over at Kelsey and considers for a moment, then calls out, "Honey, lets get moving. Gunny here says there's some horses a day or so off, lets let these guys get back to what they were doing, hmm?" He offers his hand to Phil again and smiles, "Thanks, and good luck. Kill a few of em for us."

"Sure, sure." He eats another bite of the bag and tosses it towards one of the kids. "Here, you like that one. How you eat that crap is beyond me." Back to the pair, Phil shrugs. "Meh. We're all dead by August, so the saying goes. You know what's not going to buy me credit with the Gods? Being a dick. Just stresses everyone out. Worst case scenario? You kill us." He chuckles. "Dead anyway, man." The Gunny takes the hand and gives a solid shake. "Marc, we'll add you to the list that we're killin for. You guys have good luck and stay safe." Jeff comes over, Kelsey trailing behind him, and hands off the rucksack. Pleeenty of food in there. "Gave you a couple frags, too. Those sidearms? You might as well yell at a Centurion. Grenades are your friend." Kelsey turns the camera back and gets more photos, especially one of Phil. Shutterbug. "We'll see you guys on the Styx, sirs," Phil returns after smiling for the photo.

Emilia smiles a little sadly, nodding. "Same thing we say. The grenades will be helpful, thanks." Not that she is -that- good at that sort of fighting but she'll take anything that will help. "Need any word passed anywhere?"

Petra eyes the pack then hefts it up to sling over a shoulder, "Hopefully not for a long time, but will do." He takes a few steps away, but lingers for a moment to catch the answer to Emilia's question, glancing at Kelsey and nodding his head as if to indicate they should get moving before anyone else shows up to ruin the happy ending.

Phil shakes his head. "Wife n kid are dead. This is my family, here. Thanks for the offer." He sketches them a salute and smiles as he looks over his squad. Brave new world. Kelsey, meanwhile, sticks close to Petra and tries to be casual about things. She fails, but she's trying.

Emilia returns the salute sharply, nodding once she does. "Yeah. I just have my new family left too." Her new family. You know, the one firmly in the hands of Bancroft right now. "Gods watch over you," she adds in a tired voice. She watches the kid Marines for a moment then turns away, her jaw tight. Looking at Petra, she raises one eyebrow slightly.

Petra glances back at Emilia when she gives him the lofted eyebrow and smiles slightly, "Well, Captain? You heard the man. We might be on horseback tomorrow if we make good time…" They still need to find a place to crash for the evening, but he's not saying that in front of these folks, just in case.


Once they are well away from the group of Marines, Emilia closes her eyes. "A lot of the people I knew back at the main headquarters were like that. Just trying to make their way after losing everything. There's just a bunch of hardcore types that have clustered around Bancroft." She's watching their surroundings as best she can but fatigue is starting to wear on her.

Kelsey meanders along behind Petra, but always sticking close to him. Ever since that conversation during the afternoon, she has barely left his side. The photo op with the kids was the only time. But she moves along, still carrying her helmet and survival baggie. "People like that give me hope that my daughter is alive somewhere," she whispers. "I'm glad we met them."

Petra takes in a deep breath and nods at both comments, "I'm not sure what, if anything we can do about the hardcore folks other than avoid them and let them kill Cylons on their own terms…we can't be fighting the Cylons AND them at the same time. Sadly, they might become the reason Picon falls rather than gets saved by the skin of their teeth, because we aren't risking aircraft here if the frakkiing FRIENDLIES might shoot it down. Lets just find a good place to hole up for the evening and rest a little. Good work with the camera, Wescott. Maybe if this all hits the wall, we can at least keep those guys from getting executed for what the assholes did."

"There are rumors. You remember that construction comment? There are rumorsonly rumors, absolutely nothing confirmed in any waythat Bancroft isn't always fighting the Cylons. That he's letting them do something." Emilia shakes her head. "Rest sounds good. Oh yeah—either of you ever done the horseback things before?"

Kelsey shakes her head. "I have my own mission, sir. The Sister asked me to get reports about the kids, if I could. Take photos of them. Get stories. That's what I'm supposed to report to her about on Friday." She wipes the sweat from her brow, trudging along. "Yeah, I've rode before. But its been a long time, sir. A friend of mine had a couple."

Petra smirks a little at the riding question and murmurs, "The only horsepower I have ever had at my control was my father's bike when I was seventeen. Never, ever, been on a live animal. So this ought to be interesting." He takes a deep breath and nods at Kelsey, "Well, if we can make it to Spree's mine system, I think we'll have a chance to visit one of these stockpiles they are hiding civilians in. Might need that whole stick drive for that."

Suddenly — and for the first time that they've seen — Emilia starts to laugh, a deep, easy sound. "You're about to have the sorest thighs of your life then, sir," she says in a voice both serious and teasing. "I used to ride as a kid—Aerilon and all, we're all about farms. But it'll be a much better way to get around despite thta."

"Yessir," Kelsey replies to the idea of mines. Indeed. Also so she can look for her daughter. She did bust out that picture again with those kids. Kelsey probably has a couple missions while she is here, even if the primary has been scrubbed. "Horses are awesome, sir. Its lots of fun. But I don't think I've ever rode more than a few hours at a time. We're probably going to be on these horses for days." A pause. "I wonder if they'll have chaps in my size at the stables."

Petra shakes his head and just grins, "Virgon here. I played Pyramid and miniatures wargames as a kid. Right now Im kinda glad I couldn't make the cut for the varsity team and had to 'settle' for the Navy, come to think of it. So sure, I'll take sore thighs over sore feet AND damned day of the week." He smiles a little more at Kelsey's added comment, "Even if it means I wont be able to walk for a week after. Beats being shot by these morons." Almost as an afterthought, he opens his pack to pull out the utility knife and wedges the blade into the seams of the unit patch on his shoulder, cutting through then tearing the patch off to throw it off into the bushes, "Better get rid of yours as well, until we can change clothes, Wescott."

Emilia goes to get the badge, shaking her head. "Bury it or put it in the river to get pulled away by the current or burn it but don't just leave it where it could be found." She glances at Kelsey with a bemused look. "/Herd/ of horses. There may not even be a stable. We may be barebacking it." She shouldn't smirk that way—but she does.

Kelsey takes the knife and cuts carefully. She's got a flightsuit she's apparently worried about damaging. The patch comes off and she is about to toss it when Emilia goes to fetch Petra's. She stuffs it into her pocket and gives the knife back. "Well if they want to shoot us, sir, I'd hope they have a good reason. They tried to kill Jameson and Faulkner. That's so unbelievably not cool," she sighs. The mention of barebacking, though, "I like bareback. You get a real goodfeel for the animal under you. There's a real communion there. You can feel it breathing. Even its heartbeat sometimes. But that's how I got pregnant, so Kelsey doesn't do that anymore. No, sir, I'll deal with a rubber saddle." Said with a straight face, too.

Petra takes the patch back and murmurs, "You right. We'll burn them tonight when we stop, if we can light a fire." And then, Kelsey. Petra listens and really, his sense of humor hadn't even gone to the double entendre until she does and mentions a rubber saddle. And then it just hits him. The tension of almost getting killed, of feeling like they had to fast talk their way through it, and then Kelsey cracking a joke? He smiles a little, then fails to stifle the snerk, then loses it and starts snickering, almost sounding like he's crying for a moment while he walks and desperately tries to keep from being noisy.

Emilia pats Petra's shoulder with a wide grin on her face. "Just let it out, hm? I have found, from personal experience, that getting out that tension will really help a lot. Right now, the best way for that is with laughing." She cuts a sidelong look at Kelsey and gives her a little wink.

"Its okay, Dad. You can have your heart attack later when I explain how just little I cared once I found out I was pregnant." She waggles her brow and smirks back at Emilia. Okay, so maybe Kelsey isn't permanently scarred. She's still in there somewhere. "So, DAD," Kels starts again. "How come mom doesn't come to visit anymore? Was it the Scorpian Beach greaseball that stole her away and put more babies in her? Or was it the lounge lizard from Delphi? You know, the crooner? …As much as I miss my brother, Markey Junior, he really is better off after I sold him to that carni, though. I'm willing to bet the bearded lady nursed him well. Chest floss and all." Sagenod.

Petra just shakes his head slowly, groaning, "You two are going to enjoy this entirely too much. And when we get back to the Orion, the first person to make cracks about me and my sore thighs will get it." He has no idea WHAT they are going to get, but yeah, the LTC might be a little in over his head dealing with both women at once. With a smirk and a dying snicker, he sighs in amusement, "Lets find a spot to stop that might hide the sign of a fire. Plenty of dead wood around here we can build one with."

"Don't make promises you can't keep, sir." And now Emilia is starting to get a bit of the giggles. Too much tension, man. She's tired and trying to get more serious and back on task. Mostly. She coughs and starts to move ahead to avoid catching Kelsey's eye as that will likely set her off.

"Uh huh." Kelsey jumps a bit to ruffle Petra's hair. She steps away after and gives him an easy smile. "Sorry, sir. You're out of uniform without the prudy pin and we're soooo stupidly far from a battlestar and I couldn't resist. I'll stop." Right. Kelsey stop. She probably needs to be shot out of another Raptor. She hums a bit of a song as they walk to find some kind of shelter. "Hey I just met you, and this is crazy…" Kels trails. "Jeff was kinda cute," she notes to 'Dad'.

Petra heys softly at the hair ruffling and makes like he's going to lunge after Kelsey, then stops and continues his walking, "Why do I have this feeling the 'Dad' thing is going to stick loooong after we get back to Orion, hmm?" He sighs, but the smirk on his face belies his continuing amusement, "You know, I get back to the ship and tell people I got shot down with you two and noone is going to believe a word of what we had to go through to get home." Spying what might be promising in the distance, internally he praises each of the Lords and Ladies randomly and points, "Please let that be safe."

"Imply something without admitting anything and the talk'll die down fairly quick. Endlessly protest innocence and people wont believe you." Emilia speaks from experience and as she does, she gives him a wry grin. Then she starts to jog forward, toward the indicated area. "Let's find out, huh?" She'll scout ahead.

Kelsey shrugs. "You started it, Colonel," she says all neener neener. The rest has Kelsey deflate. "Would you, sir? Cuz seriously, I gotta tell you something." She glances back to him. "Do you have any idea how mad I was when they blew us in half? We'd JUST started to recover. We had a chance, sir. Those.. those..!!!" She snarls, snorting and growling. "JERKS!" She kicks a clump of grass. "Who does that? Like, I get that someone bad shot us down. Okay, that's understandable. They suck at life. But that was just freaking unsporting!!"

Petra murmurs at Emilia, "That only works if all three of us do it, So I leave that up to you ladies. You know, desperate times, you do desperate things for body heat." As Emilia jogs ahead, he rolls a shoulder at Kelsey's commentary, "Kels. They thought the Admiral and the Commander were in the bus. A cylon just wants the plane shot down. These assholes wanted everyone in it dead. You saw what they did to the house when they thought we were inside it. So yeah, I'd like to kick someone in the balls right now, but be patient. I want to see the look on this pricks face when he shows up somewhere and finds out that not only did he fail, we know what he was up to."

"I'm sure there will be desperate times before this is over." And just like that, Emilia is no longer kidding. She looks -tired- and rather unhappy. "We don't know what he's up to, you know. There are rumors and given this behavior, I'm thinking there may be -something to those rumors. I just am not completely sure how we'll find out the truth with a lot of people dying."

"As long as you do not deny me any ball-kicking should the opportunity present itself," Kelsey says, a finger waggling and waving at him. "I wouldn't mind using that man's gonads as a speedbag for my boots." Hmph! She looks to Emilia and shrugs. "Yeah, I was freezing my tail off last night. Its why I stayed up on watch so long. I don't know you and getting cuddles with a Colonel is a bit awkward. He's my boss' boss' boss." Its okay. Petra isn't here. They can talk about him. "But yeah. Well the rumors must be pretty bad if he's trying to kill us. Or our Admiral. As I repeat, Bane-zo's a jerk."

Petra shakes his head at Emilia, "I doubt we're going to figure it out right now, so no real sense to agonize over it right now. Maybe once we get to ANVIL. Clearly, he feels we've betrayed him. Why? No frakking clue." When Kelsey talks about cuddling being awkward, he chuckles again, "We'll light a fire tonight. Everyone has clothes on, Kelsey, so if we need to curl up together to stay warm, then I'd rather be awkward than have pneumonia. Alright?"

"Please. In a survival situation, it isn't awkward." Emilia waves them forward; she's seeing no problems in the structure for the time being. "We just have to wait and see what information we get from everything."

"Geez, sir, I know," Kelsey smirks. "But that won't stop me from trying to make it awkward for you. And sure, fire, no fire, whatever. We'll figure it out. We have food and water." There's that optimism. "My momma used to say that if you've got food in your belly and good company then can you really complain? Somehow I suspect she wasn't envisioning her little girl traipsing across Picon in a post-nuclear Cylon holocaust, but its entirely possible." Yep, she's continuing on.

When Emilia clears the structure, Petra does get a little more serious, "Alright, everyone fan out. Ten minutes, collect any dry wood you can find and a handful of leaves, each of you. Meet back at the house." From there they can at least start a fire to keep warm and work out who has first shift this time while the other two sleep.

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