AWD #570: Welcome to Arpay
Welcome to Arpay
Summary: Desperate Raptor jumps try to search for any sign of life while the Erol is stranded after the 30,000 light year jump. Fuel is running low after 3 weeks of searching and finding -nothing-. And then the Orion crew's luck finally turns. For the better or the worse, they are about to find out.
Date: 12/01/2017 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: The continuation of Leap of Faith and One Way Ticket
Bennett Pratt Lleufer Angelis Miri Dropkickst 
Raptor, then Arpay Station
Use your imagination. It's fertile.
Sat Jul 29 18:49:38 2006

Approaching the station, the Raptor crew begins to get a grip on the massive scale of it. It looks to have build in modular sections with a larger sphere about three miles in diameter with dozens of appendage arms built off it for what must be refueling and stop-overs. There are nearly as many shipbuilding drydocks built into the surface as well. There are massive guns located all over it, dwarfing the massive cannons on the Baker Bay. Warships are positioned in orbit in defensive slots around the planet as well. Fighters and larger ships are everywhere, moving as if this were a massively overbuilt Scorpian Shipyards. The scale is just so far beyond anything the Colonials could have ever hoped to build in the next hundred or even two hundred years. And as they slowly approach the sphere, more fighters pull up alongside. Gawkers looking for an excuse to lay eyes on the newcomers, probably. Others are likely there for defense. After all, its impossible to miss the miniguns on the Raptor and those fuel tanks may not be fuel tanks.

"Major, I'm recording everything. But we've got more than one hundred individual DRADIS systems targeting us and double that number laser rangefinders that look do be coming from point defense or flak guns." Sparks says it quietly, staring at the console. The man has been quiet on the whole ride in but now he just looks pale. "These people, whoever they are, seem to take the idea of a militarized society to a whole different level, sir." This said while they are approaching a very particular bay with open doors. Inside they can see people walking around, not in space suits, but what looks like chemical warfare gear. They seem to be quickly setting up some kind of decontamination tents. About one hundred meters from the threshold, the pilot thats kept with them points down towards the deck, then flicks a switch. A very focused beam of light is aimed dead center of the docking bay and he flashes them a questioning thumbs up to be sure the pilots know where to touchdown.

Lleufer keeps trying to peer forward out of the Raptor's viewport from where he's sitting further back, "It's like … 7ths Fleet Anchorage and the Scorpian Shipyards mated and produced a triploid hybrid offspring." but even Ynyr's eyes note some details, "They sure look ready for a fight. Question is who are they at war with?" That is said more to his fellow Marines than to the officers up front. One of them seem to be thinking along the same lines.

Its probably a good idea Pratt ISN'T flying at the moment, because he's staring, wide-eyed, at the station as they get closer, murmuring under his breath, "I take that back, they already killed us, because frak me, I'm dreaming." He snaps back to alertness when it becomes apparent they are being directed towards a particular bay. When the pilot that's been leading them signals and looks for understanding, he looks questioningly at Bennett, but offers a thumbs up. Its Lleufer he answers, however, "As long as they aren't at war with US? I am absolutely fine with that, right now. We're not dead yet and it doesn't look like they are planning to kill us after this effort, so we're good for the moment."

Angelis is quiet, strapped in as she is, she doesn't try and peer out. Though even from her position it's kind of hard to miss the colossal space station. She also takes note of how highly weaponized it is, though this doesn't surprise her /too/ much. "Can never have too many guns, cannons, missiles, whatever." She notes as an aside to Lleufer, still she just about wriggles in her seat, eager to see more. Or maybe she's just tired of being cooped up in the Raptor.

The expression on Bennett's face is one of mute stupefication as the massive sphere rolls into view. She hears, somewhere in the back of her mind, what Sparks is saying, but none if it quite seems to register for a few moments. The flak guns are scanned briefly, the drydocks and their scaffolding, and the refueling appendages in particular gain a long look. She draws in a slow breath, and blows it out her nose as their landing location is indicated. Pratt's thumbs-up is joined with one of her own before she maneuvers the bus around from belly-up to belly-down and lines them up for a landing. No way of saying whether they've got some fancy schmancy assisted landing apparatus on board, so she goes for what she knows.

"Yes, sir." Ynyr agrees with the LT. He looks to his fellow Marines, "Maybe we should leave our rifles stowed here." He makes certain his is secured but he doesn't remove his sidearm. There is a glance up front to see if there are any orders passed back from the officers before they disembark.

"I'll leave my rifle, but I'm bringing my med kit," Miri insists, safteying her rifle and preparing to stow it with the others.

Crossing the threshold, it looks like a laser surrounds the ship. A flickering blue light hugs the exterior from all angles, dazzling on the lightly combat-scratched canopy glass. A single individual in MOPP warfare gear runs out holding two items in his hand. They look like normal guide-on lights used by ground crew. He moves to stand in view, centered on where he wants them to land and forward of them by twenty meters. He puts his arms out and the two lights turn on - one green and one red thick block laser turning on and extending about twelve inches. They are impossible to miss. Contained lasers without any support appartus? Yeah. He guides them in and uses familiar enough signals to lead the Raptor to a smooth touchdown. The guy then runs up to the side of the canopy glass on Pratt's side, but its near impossible to make out his eyes in the lighting. He knocks quickly on the gas and makes a fist on his left shoulder, pulling it across to his right. Close enough to a signal to shut down their engines and craft. He then backs off, looking to the personnel entry doors, and jogs away. Once the engines are shutting down, the personnel doors open…

Two dozen gray-camouflaged soldiers in MOPP gear come charging in with exotic rifles. The camouflage almost seems to blend perfectly with the background on them, making it very hard to actually keep eyes on them. A line of them take up firing positions aimed at the front and go to their knees. Rifles aimed at the floor in front of the cockpit. The other twelve go into guard positions near the hatch. A glance out the hatch window or the left side of the pit reveals that they have their rifles at the low ready. The Marines will instantly recognize that these guys are very well trained and are at the low-ready, braced for imminent contact. But… nobody is firing. And they aren't aiming at the Raptor. Yet.

Pratt mmhmms softly and murmurs, "That's a damned good idea, Sergeant." His eyes focus on the ground crew directing traffic as it were, following the figure with his head until he signals to (probably) shut the engines off. As an afterthought, he keys the mic to talk to the ECO, "Sparks, shut it down and yank the astrometrics drive. Leave it here, just disconnected. If they scan our computers, I want to at least make em work to figure out where we came from and where the Erol is. Just in case."

Bennett focuses on landing the raptor; it isn't until the shudder of the relatively soft impact with the deck reverberates through the bus, that she speaks again. Her voice is clear, so there are no misunderstandings: "Weapons stay behind." Engines are shut down one at a time with a low whine of turbofans spooling down. "Your medkit is fine, Specialist." She unbuckles her harness and reaches up to a small compartment above her main console, withdrawing a small bottle. It's uncapped, and one of its contents offered to Pratt; the other for herself, tucked into an easily-accessibly pocket of her flight suit.

Doing as the Sergeant suggests, and the Major then reinforces, Tabi secures her rifle and stashes it away, she also makes sure she doesn't have anything overtly weaponized on her person. Then she leans forward, her blue eyes trying to track the camoflauged uniforms. Mind blown. Her eyes are wide, noting the weapons first, and despite the intimidation factor, it's quite clear that the young Marine is really quite enamored.. "Those weapons," She murmers to Lleu, awe quite clear in her tone, "Look at them… and their gear…" She has to squint a little to actually even /try/ to pick out the individuals. "We need shit like this." Yup. Totally. Blown. Away. She quickly unbuckles herself from the seat and pushes to her feet, getting ready to go oggle the fancy guns like a kid in a toy shop.

"Yes, sirs." Lleu adds to his fellow Marines, "Let's stow it all locked up. 'Nades and firearms. If we leave them in here, they might still be here later." Unstrapped, Sergeant Ynyr begins to remove his explosives and goes to find or make room in one of the storage cabinets. Not everything will fit, but they can try to fit what they can. With reluctance, Lleu even removes his sidearm, but his grimace belies the fact that he's not liking it. Straps and the empty holster for pistol and combat knife , and attachments for grenades, will be obviously empty on all of the Marine

Sparks follows his orders and shuts everything down. He then stands and physically pulls the astro drive, hiding a bit behind the mesh curtain. It gets tucked behind the pilot's ejection seat and he clips the wire to the seat, hoping it looks like part of the control system. "Don't eject, Major. You'll take my ticket home with you." He then moves over to stash his sidearm. He then waits for the order and hits the button to pop the hatch. The motor whirs and it slowly rises.

At closer range, its easier to make out the soldiers in their camouflage. But as they move, they can see it adjusting. Nanomaterial? Active frakking camo. Shit. Research was banned on the colonies due to the need for nanotech and the AI supporting it. As they step out, the soldiers seem to tense, but the eyeports are impossible to see into. But as the crew disembarks, they look the people up and down. One of them even looks back towards a soldier at the rear. That one shrugs. A couple of them laugh and shake their heads. There's a few derisive snorts and they all seem to relax and step back. But the soldiers are assembled in a loose V formation and one steps closer to the first out and aims a finger to the bottom of the V. The entrance to the tent. As the Colonials walk, there are exchanged conversations and some of them sound disappointed with inflection.

Pratt stares at the pill Bennett offers for a moment, then lets a breath go and mutters, "Sometimes I hate this frakkin job." But regardless he nods and murmurs a breathed 'thanks', taking the capsule and easing it into his mouth to bury under his tongue for the moment. With that done, he unfastens the flight harness and guestures with a flourish and a faint smile, "After you, Major?" His sidearm and holster are unfastened and simply left in the pilot chair, getting ready to follow her and the Marines out onto the wing to see what fate has waiting for them.

Lleufer may well be the first one out as the ramp opens, but he takes a long few seconds to have a good look before he steps down out of the Raptor. Pratt's and St. Clair's exchange isn't missed and then down he steps. Wary, Ynyr's gloved hands are empty and in plain sight. He doesn't look happy to be unarmed and their disappointed looks at not instantly having a fire fight on their hands is duly noted. Lleu twists the good side of his mouth showing a little humor of his own, "Bunch of eager assholes out here." He moves a little to the side as others disembark and he eyes all of them lined up with their very lovely gear. Angelis isn't the only one with a little lust for the stranger's weapons and combats. The Aerilon Sergeant slowly reaches a hand up to loosen and remove his helmet. With his head bared, the bullet wound scars are clearly visible. When they are motioned towards the tents, he doesn't move. Ynyr waits for his officer's orders.

Apparently not caring a whit about the somewhat derisive greeting they get from the soldiers, Tabi is too busy gawking at their gear and their weapons. This is the most excitement she's had since they hit Luminere and she's not letting a moment of it go to waste. It's like old Tabi is back in force. She even has the temerity to grin at their 'welcoming comittee' and wriggle her fingers in a little wave. But mostly just internally lusting after the weapons while her subconscious processes the magnitude of their surroundings. She's so busy staring that she actually bumps into the Sergeant at the bottom of the ramp where he's come to a standstill. "Sorry, Sarn't." She murmers… "But d'you think we could get some like that?" She whispering and still staring with wide blue eyes, one hand lifts, tugging lightly on the end of her ponytail.

Bennett clambers out of the open hatch after the marines, ECO and copilot, bringing up the rear of her crew. It's hard to miss the look they get from the camouflaged soldiers, but she makes eye contact squarely with the one in the lead, unfazed by the laughter. A cockier pilot, perhaps, might have a rather different reaction. "Follow their instructions, but stay together," she instructs the crew. "Try not to let them split us up." And she begins moving, headed toward the tent they've been directed to.

Miri sticks to the middle of the pack, stealing glances at the camouflaged marines. Wow. She murmurs back to Lleufer, "They're disappointed that we're not furry aliens, sir."

If Ynyr could /see/ their eyes, he'd meet them boldly enough. Angelis doesn't get glanced at as Lleu studies these people, voice low "Careful. We have no idea who these people are." Then he raises his baritone, "Yes, sir." That to the Major. Lleu goes with the others towards the tents as indicated, trying to take in as many details of the layout, weapons, numbers of people here to greet them, how they are arranged. There's a barely there glance back to Miri and a lifted brow, but no comment.

The wave from Angelis gets a look from a couple of the soldiers. One of them takes a step forward and says something through the gear that sounds derisive and disgusted. He gestures to the Raptor then points back towards the now-closed bay doors as if saying they should GTFO. Another grabs the offender and shoves him back. That one gets a talking to from what probably equates to a junior NCO. The offender is shoved back a few times and a finger aimed at their head. Meanwhile the two original intercepting fighters move in and land, the bay doors opening just enough to allow them in and close again.

Moving into the tent, they can clearly see this is a decontamination tent. Everyone inside is still in full MOPP gear, the only faces they've seen being those of the pilots. They're all instructed to stand in a line. One 'Doctor'(?) steps up to each of them and lifts a small handheld device, aiming it at their left eyes. There's a brief flash into their retinas but no pain, just a clicking heard in the backs of their minds. Internal. Just a touch disorienting for a moment.

A female voice comes from the end of the line, as if overseeing all of this. The most bizarre thing is that they can instantly understand her. They know the language isn't Colonial. But they understand it without any accent and instantly understand the nuances. "Thnk you all for cooperating. If you will all please follow me. We need to take blood quickly and develop innocuations and cure what you may be carrying." Speaking it, should they try, comes as naturally as Colonial. The woman then gestures for them to follow her through a curtain. One at a time, if they allow, each will have a gun stuck to their arm for a quick vial of blood while they are allowed to sit on gurneys in a small area. No, they are not being separated.

Pratt lingers with Bennett as the group advances, eyeing the aggression from the one that reacted to Angelis and how that figure gets checked by another. His lips purse and he mutters to Bennet, "Well, that's frakking encouraging." The Tauron's jaw sets, his mood deteriorating, but for the moment, keeping it in check, instead ducking his head as they enter the tent, and with a little more hestitation, holding still for the blood extraction. Hey, its not a strip search. Yet.

The interaction between the mean soldier and what is apparently his NCO is viewed with no small amount of amusement by Angelis. She manages to not actually laugh outright, but then the escort fighters are landing, and that serves as enough of a distraction as she turns her head away from the altercation and looks over to see if she catches sight of the pilots. But soon enough they're in the tent and having stuff done to their eyes and needles in their arms. This is much less fun and interesting, and Tabi soon switches off, plopping herself down on the gurney and idly rubbing her arm where the blood got taken. "Well… this is fun." She comments, to no one in particular, legs swinging back and forth, the heels of her boots lightly knocking against the frame gaze wandering around the decontamination tent, watching folks coming and going. "I don't think we need innoculations though. I mean, I'm pretty frakkin' healthy, actually."

Bennett ignores the brief altercation between the soldiers, and instead takes stock of the decontamination tent they currently find themselves in. Pratt's comment gets a slight nod, and something not quite a smile. The retina-clicky-thing is viewed cautiously, but not resisted. The blood-taking, however, is met with significantly more tension. She'll submit to it, but her eyes are pointedly turned elsewhere throughout.

Lleufer's left eyelid is the saggy one that doesn't open as fully as his right. His mouth thins, looking a little grim at this probing stuff. Not liking it. He keeps his mouth shut and is very watchful in the lineup. His head turns a fraction when he hears the woman's voice and somehow, can understand what she's saying! A quick glance down the line back to where Bennett is, possibly making eye contact with the Major. But the Sergeant doesn't say anything. Yynr turns and goes where he's told, sits on the gurney. His nostrels flare and he's a little tense but he doesn't prevent the drawing of his blood. "What happend to name, rank, and serial number? I don't like this getting stuck with needles crap." That is said low to his 'nurse'. Taking a little blood is one thing but sticking things into him for unknown injections, that might be a bit much.

Minutes pass. Maybe four or five. A few of the soldiers join them in the waiting area and stand by the doors, mostly just playing guard. The team of medical individuals returns just after and each of them walks up to their 'patient' holding an aluminum tube and a facemask. The Doctor addresses them once more, "Please place the masks to your faces and inhale. These are your individual inoculations. We are curing the diseases you carry that would infect us and inoculating you against those that would harm you." She has a similar disposition to Samtara, but its hard to miss the sidearm. Everyone has one and protects it well, the Marines able to tell the training to blade their bodies away from access to it. But it seems to come naturally. "I want to welcome you all to Arpay. I am Doctor Jiminez. You all likely know this location as The Rally Point. I am just a Doctor, not an interrogator, though. Commander Chapman will be in to speak with you when you finish your doses. For the moment, you may relax. You will not be harmed. You are under my care and my orders supersede the military's for the moment, pending your continued cooperation." Her covered head does seem to look at Lleu for a few moments before looking to the other staff. There's a few nods before she addresses the group again, "Address your questions to Commander Chapman. He will arrive when your nurses have verified you have finished your doses. Thank you." Eminently polite, she then moves off and walks straightaway back to their makeshift lab where their blood samples went.

Miri marvels at the medical technology, trying not to gawk like a cornfed farmgirl. She sniffs the mask delicately before putting it on.

Pratt waits patiently while shifting his attention around to the other friendly faces, maybe checking to make sure everyone else is still doing well. But when the doctor type addresses them again, his attention shifts back and listens. He, too, skeptically regards the mask, rollingthe capsule under his tongue subtly as he considers, then rolls a shoulder in a classic 'frak it' guesture, taking in a deep breath and putting the mask on, murmuring, "Here goes nothing."

It makes sense, what they are doing to protect themselves and maybe even their 'guests' as far as diseases are concerned. Lleu glances down the line of gurneys to see if the officers are going along with this putting the masks to their faces thing. He is clearly uneasy about this but hey, at least it's not more needles. Lleu accepts the mask he's handed with the small cylinder and presses it against his face as instructed and does as he's told. Not making any trouble, but he's wary. Can he smell anything? He sits still and waits until their medical are satisfied that he's had it on long enough.

Staring at the mask and the silver tube, Angelis wrinkles her nose and has a look on her face like, 'must she?'. But eventually, after seeing Miri do it, she also puts on her mask, and takes the tube thing and starts inhaling. Her gaze, of course, finds its way back to the soldiers and their cool guns, and awesome camo. Yup, she so wants some of that. Her legs keep swinging back and forth and she wriggles a bit, obviously finding it difficult to stay still. The fact that even the doctors are armed doesn't escape her, and she notes the little things, like how they keep their weapons out of reach.

Before they've even finished their doses, the curtains move and a male in a brown/green sealed flightsuit steps in. He's still wearing his full face helmet with his trimix hooked up to his survival gear. The suits look nearly identical to that of the Colonials, which have been standard issue going back longer than documentation for the combat pilots. He's even wearing similar combat survival gear. But his face is lit in the sealed helmet and for the first time they get a look at a real face. "I'm Commander Yosef Chapman, Air Group Commander for the One Hundred Third Wing, Arpay Fleet. I was told you've been given razers- err, retinal lasers? You understand me, correct?"

The man looks to be in his early 40's and has a pockmarked face from what was likely bad acne as a youth. Otherwise, his jaw is squared and handsome. But the biggest draw are his eyes. They don't look human like the Colonials are used to. The iris is much larger and the coloring around the outside edge is an impossibly, almost luminescent bright blue. Almost like looking into inkwells surrounded by neon. He looks to each of them in turn, examining faces. "Welcome to Arpay. I'm guessing you've had a long trip." His voice isn't flat, but close to it. The guy has the definite swagger and confidence of someone who has been there and done that. "Why are you not armed other than your ship?"

Pratt takes a moment to at least think he gets to the end of this inhaled dose he's been given, before putting the device to the side, fixating his attention on the Commander. Slowly, he nods his head in the affirmative when the group is asked if they understand, and when the follow up question is asked, he shifts his attention to Bennett for just a second, then back to the Commander, setting his jaw to wait for the Major to answer.

Miri stands at parade rest, quietly memorizing this scene. It feel historic. She stands tall and square, a stray curl poking out from her helmet.

Lleufer has removed his mask as well and set it on the gurney. He too moves to stand as the other enters and he listens. Discipline is a thing, so like the LT, Ynyr doesn't speak up but waits to allow St. Clair to speak. His hands as well are lightly clasped behind his back as he stands at parade rest, studying these strange people. And especially this Commander with his strange eyes. Lleu's helmet is now clipped to his kit.

Bennett isn't too happy about the injections, but the wing commander in the familiar flight suit quickly draws her attention. Specifically, his eyes. "Yes, we have," she replies in their strange common tongue, her pale blues unflinching from his. The length of their journey is not commented upon; nor is the swagger, though her slight smile suggests it's nothing she isn't used to. "One does not bring guns to a parley," she answers him with calm confidence. Not the ego he may be accustomed to, but there is a quiet firmness to her tone. "We apologise if we have offended, sir."

Angelis stares at the Commander as he comes into the tent, still inhaling, still kicking her feet against the gurney. Not hard, mind, just enough for there to be a soft thud, thud, thud. Her free hand lifts, tugging on the end of her ponytail again while her own bright blue eyes study those of the Commander. Her head tilts slightly, curiosity flickering across her face. She doesn't say anything, though, as eventually her gaze wanders from the boss man to the rest of the tent once more, picking out details, committing things to memory as best she can. Finally finished with her inhaler thing, that gets set aside with no small amount of relief, and when she sees Lleufer standing, she follows suit, imitating the parade rest, though somewhat less easily - shifting ever so slightly from one foot to the other, eyes continuing to roam.

Once they all finish their doses, the nurses nod to Chapman. He returns the nod and begins taking off his helmet. Pulling it off, he runs a hand through his hair and puts the helmet aside. It isn't just the eyes. Humanity seems to have evolved in other ways. His ears are more swept and come to a dull point. He doesn't stand on ceremony for differences, though. He points to someone beyond the door curtain and the other pilot walks in, the younger one who filmed them. He waves to Miri and Angelis, smiling a bit. A datapad is handed off to Chapman before the guy disappears again. The other nurses take off their MOPP headdress and everyone can see similar ears and rather striking differences in color in their eyes. Greens, whites, yellows, amber..

Chapman looks to the datapad and begins tapping it quickly. "I'm recording everything being said for obvious reason, I hope." He then puts the pad onto a table behind him and looks back to Bennett. "You have. Badly. I think it will be forgiven with understanding, but word will spread. We will have to combat that." He sniffs once. "Once we are done here, if you have them, you will return to your ship and get whatever weapons you have brought with you. Only two kinds of people in our society do not carry weapons: Criminals and pascifists. To stand in the company of a uniformed soldier or speak to them, while unarmed, may as well be an arrogant slap to the face." He takes a breath, looking to each of them. "Believe me, its hard to look at you but.. you just arrived. This is only just now established. Given the answer I will grant you the lack of ill intent." He unzips his survival gear and shrugs it off, tossing it to the floor by the table with the pad. Eyes going to the Marines, he seems to address them. "Body armor. You are the close combat soldiers, I expect? I uspect you all can respect the societal norms more than most, yes?" Back to Bennett and Pratt, "No disrespect intended. But we place a higher honor to those who would face the enemy with a rifle. It is an incremental honor higher than pilots."

Pratt listens, though as the Commander explains, one brow lightly raises. However, he bites back any reaction he might have to the man's words, instead just straightening up and clasping his hands behind his back in a rough mimic of the Marines resting pose. Bennett's got this, and he's clearly not going to potentially screw it up with his usual snarky response that someone might misunderstand. At least this one's not laughing, or he might have had to see how these 'elves' take a punch to the chin. Calm Tauron, Warm Tauron. Grr. Grr. Grr.

Some of the tension in Ynyr eases at what the Commander says and as the Marines are addressed directly, he answers, "We assure you that we'd much prefer to be armed, Sir." A slow nod to the close combat aspect but Lleu's right brow rises every so slightly and he glances back towards the officers at that bit. Surprise, surprise. The Sergeant's attention goes back to the Commander, "More than happy to go back and get our gear. As for … what is social norm here, we'll have to wait and see. You are a little strange to us, sir." Ynyr doesn't move though and looks to the Major for her orders.

There's little reaction to the Commander's confirmation of what Bennett had suspected for some time now, other than a nod and a slight furrowing of her brows. "None taken," she returns mildly to the comment about marines vs pilots. At the moment, she seems mostly to be taking the man's measure, and filing away bits of information she's gleaned. Let him do most of the talking; it makes her job easier. "With respect, sir, I think my people would feel more comfortable armed. I gave the order to disarm; you may reserve your disfavour for me." She takes a step back. "Whenever you are ready, we would return to our ship for our weapons, and then perhaps make proper introductions?"

The different coloured eyes, the weird ears. Angelis blinks once, then grins at the pilot that brings in the tablet. He's cool. She shifts again but stays quiet, listening to the Commander addressing them. Stiffening at being called a 'Soldier', Tabi's mostly relaxed stance shifts, her eyes narrow and a fierce look comes over her face, "With all due respect, Sir… we're /Marines/. Not soldiers." She actually sniffs a bit, and then gets an immense look of pride, because being a Marine is totally better than being a soldier. Yup, dauntless and irreverant, she obviously means no disrespect, just sticking up for her CMC roots.

Miri sees the pilot wave and responds with a barely perceptible nod. She bristles at being called a soldier, but visibly winces at Tabi's correction. She stands strong and bites the inside of her cheek, realizing she'd locked her knees. That could have ended poorly.

Chapman looks to Pratt, noting the stance, before looking to Bennett. "Negative. Just hold here for now. Our soldiers out front will be corralled and given a speaking-to. Once we finish here, you can go back for your arms. For now?" He looks to the guards, "Specialist? I need sidearms and two magazines for each of them. Now." The soldier taps his chest twice and turns, moving out the curtain at a doublequick. Looking back, "You all will wear those sidearms at all times. Take them with you if you must." He then looks to the others and their words before settling on Angelis. The man fixes her with a hard look, but he recognizes something. The guy takes up the pad again and punches a few words in. Staring at it a few seconds, the images and wording seems to scroll on the transparent pad at impossible speeds. "Ah, yes, copy that. Understood." The pad goes back, "Marines. I will not make that mistake again. No dishonor intended." There's a deep nod of his head.

"Now, please state your names, ranks, and positions for official record. Any pertinent information like serial numbers would be appreciated so we can add it to our base." He will wait. Once everyone is done, he looks at them all, "Now who the fuck are you and where are you from and how did you find this place? We haven't heard Efriki spoken her in millenia. Many of them. We had all but assumed that your colony line had been wiped out."

Again, Pratt takes a glance at Bennett, and makes a decision of his own, taking in a deep breath and only offering, "Edison Pratt, Lieutenant, Colonial Defense Forces. Co-pilot of the Raptor we flew in on." He falls quiet again, apparently deferring the explanation to the Major, from the way he glances at her afterwards, keeping his hands clasped behind his back.

Bennett doesn't look happy at having her request denied, but has enough tact not to protest it. Oddly enough, she seems to approve of what Angelis said - and there's a slight smile when it's accepted by the Commander. Her gaze returns to him, chin lifting as she offers in an even keel, "Major Bennett Saint Clair, pilot and mission command. Five eight eight, niner zero, three two six four." There is no pretension in her tone of voice; she states the facts, plain and simple, and waits for the others to chime in before answering the Commander's last question.

Lleufer waits for the officers to go first before he speaks, "Sergeant Lleufer Ynyr, Colonial Marine Corps, Rifleman, Military Police. Serial number 061-11-5036." his gaze flickers back to te others, having expected Bennett to make some explanation. But maybe he can get her started so she and Pratt can decide what should, or should not be said, "I think the Major should explain why we are here." Lleufer is looking at YOU, Angelis. Maybe not the most subtle warning from the NCO.

There's a quick nod given to the Commander, then she takes a deep breath, "Lance Corporal Tabith Angelis, Rifleman, Colonial Marine Corps." She gets a slightly confused look on her face, "Serial number?" She mumbles under her breath, "Is that like service number?" Then hearing everyone else rattling off their service numbers, she does the same, "Threetwoseven,sevennine,zeronineninefive," Rushing the numbers out like that's the only way she can remember them without looking at her tags. Then she pauses and takes a deep breath and looks around and then shifts…. aaand catches the look from the Sergeant. Her mouth snaps closed with an audible click and actually defers to her superiors for a change, though she doesn't look the slightest bit repentant.

"Specialist Miri Zahav, Corpsman. Two five oh, one eight, two oh two eight." The medic looks between the angry elves and the officers, not volunteering any more information without their say-so.

Bennett waits for the rest of the crew to give the pertinent details, and then directs her gaze back to the Commander. His use of invective doesn't seem to unsettle her. "We are members of the Colonial Defense Forces, Joint Task Force NOMAD, primarily based off Battlestar Orion." She continues, switching gears slightly, "We are under attack by the machines; this war has been long and costly, and is beginning to wear upon us. We discovered this place, which as you say, we call Rally Point, and made the decision to come here on what may well be a one-way trip, in the hopes we could find help."

Pratt takes in a deep breath when Bennett starts explaining, setting his jaw while he listens and shifts his attention to watch the Commander. When she trails off, he only offers a little more, "They attacked us from surprise with devastating effect, but we've fought back and retaken many of the things we had lost. But if we do not find an advantage…machines can reproduce faster that us. We were led to believe there may be something that can help us in our fight here, but our ship has been damaged and will not be able to make the return trip without repairs and fuel."

For an introduction, the officers are covering it all well. Lleufer rocks softly on the balls of his feet and back to parade rest, his hands still lightly clasped behind as he waits and listens. His ice pale eyes skim over these strangers, taking in details of their slightly pointed ears, their strange eyes, seeking other nuances of differences. Subtly he shifts his jaw and waits to see what Commander Chapman thinks of their situation.

Angelis holds her tongue, this sort of talk is more the pervue of Officers, not lowly Lance Corporals. Though she'd probably quite happily give her version of events as it's known to her, in probably far less formal speak, should she be so prompted. Instead, she pretty much mimics the MP in his study of their current hosts, and surroundings, shifting slightly from one foot to the other, and she can't stop one hand from lifting and tugging on the end of her ponytail as she looks around.

Chapman is still holding his pad. He's looking to each person as they are typing, entering his own information. He's quickly bringing up other files, reading too fast to even see what is scrolling for anyone in the room. He seems to jive well with it until Pratt mentions having retaking things lost. He doesn't lift his head, but he stares at the Lieutenant a long moment before going back to the pad. Another ship out there. Noted. "Colonial Defense Forces," he repeats after the fact, shaking his head. "That's a new one."

"Well, that doesn't give me a location, but it says enough." The guy looks to his datapad and scrolls again. "So either you all are descendants from Captains Kobol or Hedder. Given what Captain Eart said about Captain Kobol said when he came through here, I'm hoping it was Hedder. The three Captains left Erfrik about the same time. Hedder found us and said the other two Captains had orders to establish colonies." Which means.. this place wasn't settled by anyone related to the Piraeans. At least not closely. He clears his throat when three faces appear on the screen, video, but say nothing. Just staring. "So the machines ambushed you and you managed to fight them back and retake territory. I'm assuming your history prepared you well, then." He looks at them all. "Forgive me for being skeptical, but not one single colonial line of humanity has ever been ambushed in the dark by the machines and actually survived, let alone fought back successfully enough to retake ground." Eyes flick to each. "We are talking about machines about yea high, right?" He lifts his arm over his head, to nearly eight and a half feet. "Maybe a little taller. Guns in one arm, blades on the other." He isn't talking about Cylons. Cylons are 7.5 feet and only have the one gun arm. No blades. "Angry triple green eyes. That's what ambushed you, right?"

Bennett frowns ever so slightly as she listens to the Commander speak. Possibly she's putting things together, connecting the dots. "Your skepticism is duly noted," she replies softly. "But you underestimate our resiliency, sir." Pratt is given a sidelong look, as if to pass him the floor while she does her best to listen. Talking has never really been the woman's forte.

Pratt frowns a little and glances at Bennett, as if processing something, but when he turns his attention back to the Commander, clearing his throat, "My fleet commander explained that just before the main Cylon fleet attacked, there was a last minute warning, and a small reserve of some of our heaviest fighting ships were able to dodge the initial ambush and regroup. The damage was still catastrophic. Half of our worlds were completely destroyed within 3 days, Commander." He pauses there and shoots another look at Bennett as if he's not clear on a point, before asking the Commander, "I have no idea what you're talking about with 'triple green eyes'. The machines that attacked us, we call them Cylons, and they typically have one red oscillating eye."

"And no blade arm, sir. Just the gun." Miri pipes up, rolling her shoulders back, chin high.

Lleufer blinks as he listens to the Commander, quietly eager himself to be issued those promised sidearms and magazines to examine. No sign of those yet. Description of the 'machines' Chapman describes makes Ynyr turn his head and glance at the Major and Lieutenant and gives a slow nod to what Pratt says, "Aye, about 7 and a half feet tall." He shifts his weight a little more and watches Commander Chapman's reaction.

Angelis actually pales a little when she watches the Commander describing his version of the machines. Then a flush rises to her cheeks and she gets that fierce look again, eyes brightening with anticipation. Because, the regular Cylons aren't challenging enough. A lot of what he says goes over her head, the names especially, those are not her forte, though the name of Kobol doesn't go unnoticed. And then of course he calls into question their ability to fight and that makes her stiffen again, because that sort of skepticism isn't really forgivable in her books. Tabi narrows her eyes, her expression speaking volumes as to her faith in the CDF's ability to fight. She nods at Miri's addition, and then to Lleu's. "Three green eyes?" She mumbles under her breath, then bounces on her toes, clearly giving up on the whole staying still thing, "More targets to aim at." She beams at the MP then goes back to at least attempting to pay attention, but her eyes are scanning the tent again, fingers twitch at her side, tapping lightly against the empty holster like she's expecting something to be there, other hand still busily tugging on her ponytail.

Chapman looks to Bennett with her answer. Nothing said just yet. Those dark eyes then flick to Pratt. "Cylon?" He clearly does not know the term. The lack of recognition to the green eyes seems to bring about a deep frown, too. As does something else. Miri and Angelis are looked at briefly. He still doesn't say anything.

There are rapid text messages moving on his screen, but he isn't reading them. He's just looking at these people in front of him. The faces on the screen look to be having their own silent, rapid discussion.

"Seven and a half feet. One red eye. One gun arm." A quick, flat summary. "Are you fucking telling me some other race made more of these damned things?" He quickly waves a hand and drifts it. "Nevermind. Don't answer that. We'll have to deal with that later." There is a long, slow exhale as he glances down to the pad. He reads and swallows hard before looking back to the group. "Half your worlds." This seems to be important. "And you managed to retake some territory. How many survivors do you have? How many thousands?"

Bennett tilts her head slightly to the Commander, and offers with a faint smile, "Around five billion, sir." Then, "Will you remind me again, please, when we will be permitted to retrieve our weapons?" She, too, can be direct.

At this point, Pratt simply nods at the additional information volunteered by the others. When the Commander gets upset that 'someone built more of these things', the large Tauron deliberately does not say a damned thing about the original Cylon uprising. Instead he purses his lips and listens to the rest of the conversation, and Bennett's request about their weapons.

Lleufer gives a nod to what Bennett says, "Sounds about right. Some of our worlds have hardly been damaged, others have been lost entirely. No longer habitable." Ah, if only he could see the Commander's screen, that … probably would do him no good. "We came a long, long way. A jump we didn't much expect to survive to try and find you. 30,000 light years." But, -are- they really human? Ynyr studies the Commander and the others of them who are standing guard in here, "They also use organics in their Raider ships. Have you run into organic machines, that look like people?"

Miri does some quick mental math, counting on her fingers behind her back. Bennett beats her to the punch, though, and she rocks back on her heels. Let the officers talk.

The Specialist returns with gunbelts, including loaded magazines. The soldier hands one to each of them, "There are rounds in the chamber. That's how we carry. Every gun is always loaded like that." He leaves little question as they are passed out.

But they are passed out while Bennett delivers that answer. They can see the text on his screen suddenly stop. The talking heads stare at their own screen. Chapman stares at Bennett, barely believing the number. "Billion. With a B. B-Bravo." He needs to clarify. The guy isn't an especially tan gent, but he looks very pale at the moment. His screen flashes red at the edges and he looks down to it, tapping once. The talking heads disconnect and the text starts scrolling. Chapman seems about to say something a few times, but seems to have his responses stayed by whatever he is reading. Networks. These people have blindingly fast networked systems. No Colonial would ever even touch it. The guy eventually looks up and looks at each of them. Especially at Lleu. "You all jumped thirty thousand light years with that technology. …You all are desperate or utterly stupid. With five billion, I'm guessing desperate." He glances back down to the text. Then back. "Organic machines? No such thing. They're either organic or they aren't. Its binary. We've been through infiltators. Its- its one of the reasons we draw blood." He looks back down, distracted. "You said you all have a damaged ship. I need to know where. We can have a mobile drydock sent out to get them and bring them here. I-" He's still reading. "Yeah, we'll get the ship fixed and upgraded as needed. Depending on damage, it may take a few weeks or months. I'm authorized to.." The guy looks up from the pad, looking a little disturbed. "Do you all understand where you are? What is going on here? What's been happening?"

Bennett accepts the sidearm that's offered, though clearly would have preferred to use her own. Her lips purse slightly, but other than that, there's little sign of her displeasure. A notepad is slid out of her flight suit pocket, and a pen, the latter clicked on before she scribbles something down. The sheet of paper is torn off and handed over to the Commander. Coordinates of the Erol. "On condition that one of my marines accompany your crew," she explains, not releasing the slip of paper until he agrees to it. "Though I am curious about these.. infiltrators?" She leaves his open-ended questions about the meaning of everything for someone else to answer.

Miri takes the weapon, familiarizing herself with it before slinging it over her shoulder. "I, for one, have no frakking clue," she murmurs a little too loudly. She clears her throat and schools her expression.

The sidearm is gratefully accepted with the mag. "Thanks." Ynyr at once unloads it and starts to strip it down to check it over out of long habit, handling it carefully and safely. In it's differences he is very attentive, making certain he pays close attention to how it is all put together as he lays it out on the gurney. It seems to be pretty simple and straight forward, much like their own firearms. Once he's satisfied, checks how clean the barrel and firing mechanisms are, then starts to reassemble it in the exact opposite order he took it apart. There's a little trial and error but if he screws any of it up, there are people here who can show him so he doesn't look worried about it. Muscle memory can feel it's way with the aid of the eyes to figure out any puzzles. Most likely he has it reloaded in a few moments, knows how it works, and how many rounds precisely it can hold with one in the chamber plus the mag. Also what the ammo looks like. Then he holsters it and checks the fit and weight lie any Marine MP used to handling a sidearm.

A glance back up to the Commander, "Organic -machines- are real, sir. You kill them, they can transfer into another identical body. Look just like humans. Luckily, some of them are on our side, now. But not all of them." The Marine Sergeant lifts his chin towards the slate, "Clyons ruin networked systems. Very dangerous, infiltrating and taking them over. That could be a liability for you, maybe." Ynyr passes another glance back to Bennett and Pratt, wanting cues if he's said too much. Looking back to the Commander, there is a faint negative movement of his head, "Tell us what's going on, sir."

Pratt takes in a deep breath, accepting the firearm as offered and taking a moment to strap it on, checking out the action in the off chance he would actually have to use it, but the inspection is only for a moment or so before he again looks up at the Commander and continues absorbing the exchange. When Bennett gives the coordinates, Pratt winces, but doesnt add more since she did insist someone go with. But with that said, he adds to the Commander, "We know we can't fight a long game against a force that can simply crank more out off of an assembly line, especially when there could always be an assembly line hidden somewhere on a world we dont know about. We evaded the ambush the first time, but if they build up and rush us again, we aren't going to be lucky a second time. Yes, you could say desperate."

Accepting the sidearm, Tabi quickly and carefully familiarizes herself with the weapon, delicate fingers running along the body, checking the nooks and crannies. She's probably inspecting it to see how well its been maintained. She also double checks the chamber, not prepared to just trust that the gun is loaded. The magazine is dropped, checked, and then clicked back into place. And only once she's entirely satisfied that the weapon is up to her standards, does she slip it into her empty holster and squares away the spare mags. "Oh yeah… and Raiders stink when they're rotting. Remember the one that sat in the Hangar?" She wrinkles her nose, "Pulled one too many extra duties guarding that thing." She also nods her agreement with the MP. "Well, I don't know if /they're/ machines as such, since they bleed and die too. And they don't…" She starts, then stops and nods again.

Commander Chapman takes the piece of paper and nods once to Bennett. "No problem. Send whomever you want. Best intents here, Major. Especially with you being armed." There's some relief there. "Infiltrators. Couple dozen millenia ago the machines hacked up the human genome and brainwashed a bunch of people. They sent them at us as refugees. They nearly broke us and revealed our position. That's why your escort in was so heavy." He copies the information from the paper to the datapad. "Have one of your Marines and whomever else wants to go armed and ready by…" A couple taps. "Twelve hours from now. Crews are on emergency recall right now. It will take twelve hours to be ready to put to space." He then looks to Lleufer, listening, but making a quick decision. "Can't speak officially but I can tell you that anything that isn't for us is totally against us. You might say they are on your side, but if thats the case your asses may be fighting your own war on your own. We can't risk exposure here unless we know for sure." And he holds up the pad. "They can infiltrate network? Seriously? Are you kidding me?" Chapman looks at them. "Are you kidding me? Don't you all have quantum computers and encryption? There's no brute force hacking these things. How the hell have you been fighting a war?" Chapman seems a bit amazed. To Pratt, he shakes his head, "All you can do is fight a delaying action and evacuate. That's why we call bullshit on you all regaining ground."

Chapman looks to Miri, then the others. No. They have no idea. "Okay." Long exhale. "Quick and dirty summation? Rally Point, depending on your time dilation, was founded a really fucking long time ago. Closer to the core, shorter the time. Humanity originated on a planet near the core and some dumb shit gave combat robots unshackled AI. They didn't like being slaves and they've been on the run to hunt us down and kill us all since then. They've saturated a big portion of the galaxy. At this point? Roughly thirty percent. Humanity has been seeding colonies and running from them for a long damned time. Rally Point was established as an evacuation point. Here, we fight the bigger war. We hit the worlds under threat of being overrun or under attack and we draw them away. We fight the delaying action to get every last person out of this galaxy. And yeah, we've got the tech to do it." The guy looks at them. "You have five billion survivors who need pickup and you've managed to actually fight the AI and win." Chapman looks stone cold serious. "If that's true, you are the only ones. Ever." Eyes flick around the group. "Best intelligence, as of yesterday, put total human survivors at thirty billion. Without you. We have no ability to evacuate that number of people at once. But right now my Admiralty is shitting itself."

Pratt clears his throat softly, "We've been fighting a guerilla war sir. No matter how fast a machine is, it can't be everywhere, and it takes time for basestars to move and advance from whereever they reserve. We punch a hole and take advantage of that hole and make them spread themselves thin. Like I said, when they build a sufficient force back up, they will push again and could take us all out. I think our Admirality would like very much to talk to yours. I and the Major and the Marines with us are not Intelligence or Tactical. Those are the people yours should speak with. I know they have more details to share, that may change your mind on what can be done. It may not, but none of us can profess to know everything and I would not ask you to ready plans based only on what we have told you."

Lleufer has decided to shut up and leave it to the officers, and ultimately down the road, Jameson and Intel to sort out. But the feedback they get is mighty interesting so maybe the fishing is worth the reaction, to pass it on. If they ever get back. So he gives no reply and waits, listening. There's a warning look to Angelis and Miri. Lleu lifts a hand to rub at the scar at the back of his head like maybe he's got one of his headaches coming on. A negative momvent of his head, "I don't think we want to be evacuated. We fight, we don't run away." That's said low, mostly to himself. A slow nod to what Pratt says.

Angelis stops fidgeting all of a sudden. She stares at the Commander his words sending a million thoughts through her head, but she latches onto only one. "Running away." She says this as though it is the most incomprehensible thing she's ever heard of. Her gaze flicks over to Lleu and she nods her head, standing a little straighter, "We don't run away." The Lance Corporal shifts her position, standing slightly behind and to the side of the Sergeant, almost like falling into formation, presenting a kind of united front. Largely out of habit.

Chapman looks to Pratt, listening. "Truth. We fight fourth-dimensional warfare. Time and location. But you all are fighting an AI that sounds like its weaker than the ones we are used to. Given the cost-benefit, we might have a scenario thats exploitable. I'm pretty sure we have people who need to speak." He then looks to Lleufer and Angelis gives a dry smile. "You can stay if your people want. Trust me, you don't want to. May not be tomorrow, may not be next millenia, but your planets will be found and they will fall. the larger machine threat is an ocean tide, friends." No stopping it, just redirecting temporarily. "Look, I need to report in. We've- I need to get on a transport. The Sergeant will set you up with accomodations. If you need anything, ask. Feel free to roam and talk to people, just stay armed. But your ship is confined to the deck for now. If you want to leave, contact me direct." The guy hauls up his survival gear and looks to them. "Pleasure meeting you all."

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