PHD #071: EVENT - 99999
Summary: Raptors call for aid.
Date: 8 May 2041 AE
Related Logs: Continued from Get Some. Concurrent with the events in Lambs to the Slaughter, The Promise of Science and How Sweet, Vengeance.
Quinn Trask Evandreus Niobe Polaris 
Prometheus Square — Kythera — Leonis
Crammed full of restaurants, upscale fast food joints, warehouses, and office supply shops, Prometheus Square is just really a collection of stores at the intersection of Inspiration and Imagination Lanes, constructed for the express purpose of sustaining the men and women working for the biotech beast. Like the rest of central Kythera, most of this area is no more than rubble. Service industry workers are buried alongside the high-powered scientists they served, and what few buildings remain are in perpetual danger of toppling over. The most prominent of these is unquestionably the Museum of High Technology, whose asymmetrical hypermodern frame forms the southern edge of the square. A shredded banner still hangs from its central gallery, whose collapsed roof frames its bold white text quite nicely indeed: "Behold! The Promise of Science."
Post-Holocaust Day: #71

[Into the Wireless] Trask says, "Guns, Cobra Actual: Bootstrap. Speaking from personal experience, going active will draw the attention of several Basestars. If they get a visual, the Eidolon will be made."

Deep breath in. Deep breath out. Echoing in the Bunny's ears inside his flightsuit as it is, the breath seems eager to take a deep breath of the south Leonisian air. It's not enough to distract him from the chatter on coms, listening out for orders tossed his way, but, for the time being, his training on Sagittaron's got him covered. Sit still. Don't panic. Wait for your ducklings, door open, engine hot. "From around here, Pickle?" he wonders back to his ECO. Who's from Leonis, too, he knows that much.

Pickle is currently having a bit of difficulty keeping her breakfast in her stomach, and so, alas, Bunny will get no reply save that coming from gloved fingers scrabbling desperately at her hard-seal.

[Into the Wireless] Trask says, "That I am, Guns. And, to state the obvious, expect company. They will come. Bootstrap out."

"Forehead to the glass. Stretch out your neck, chin as close to your throat as it'll go," Evan passes back calm-worded advice from a man with experience enough barfing in his flightsuit without the option to take the thing off. That way it doesn't splash up your nose or muck up your faceplate too badly. Pleasant? No. But miles better than the alternative.

Good advice, Evan — if she had any inclination to listen. Wordlessly, Niobe takes a bow, pushing her way out of her harness before falling to her knees outside, helmet already off. There goes processed egg and sausage onto already-broken ground.

Whatever apprehension Trask is feeling about impending doom has been stuffed aside. That anxiety is converted into hyper-vigilance and the diligent monitoring of the passive DRADIS.

"All clear, so far, Jugs," Bootstrap relays to Quinn. Upon hearing the TAC chatter, however, he's suddenly not convinced. "Frak," he murmurs and starts examining his console, just in case there is some kind of technical error. He's done recon here before, which means he has a very healthy and justified sense of paranoia.

And… now… Evan's alone in the bird, sans backseat. There's something almost peaceful about the solitude, even if it sends a prickle of dread up the back of his neck, making him eventually shrug to rub scruff against the inside back of the helmet rung. He opens up a suit link to Boots' flightsuit, "Bootsie, Pickles just had to go out and take a knee. Anything on out there?" he asks.

"DRADIS is saying 'no' but my trust in our birds has been broken since one exploded and another nearly made me a pancake by losing all power while on a collision course for the Eidolon." Yeah. Trask is not taking any chances.

[TAC1] Trask says, "Alpha Team, Bootstrap: Negative on heat and electronic signals, but I'm reading a MASSIVE amount of cooling where you are. Like, your heat signatures are being drowned out massive amounts."

[TAC1] Trask says, "Actual, Bootstrap. Not exactly, sir. The heat signatures are effectively being suppressed. And…" There's a faint tapping sound in the background, "Alpha Team is not responding. I have a feeling they didn't hear the heads-up."

[TAC1] "Bootstrap" Trask says, "I'm getting static, sir. I'll monitor the heat sigs, but I suspect they'll fade into nothingness the further Alpha Team ventures where they're venturing. In the good news column, we aren't pinging any Cylon activity." Beat. "Yet."

[TAC1] "Cobra Actual" Michelle says, "Alpha! Eidolon's been hit! We're busted! Get your team assembled and back to your Raptors! Get ready for contact!"

[TAC1] "Bootstrap" Trask says, "Actual, Bootstrap. Strongly advise that Engineering deactivate the Cylon IFF's installed aboard Eidolon. They're effectively useless now and we'd best not risk they having a back door that can be kicked in."

[TAC3] "Bootstrap" Trask says, "Alpha Team, Bootstrap. Do you copy? The Eidolon has been hit. I say again: the Eidolon has been hit. Over."

[TAC1] Polaris says, "LOOKS LIKE THAT FRAKKING BACK DOOR WAS JUST KICKED IN." That's the extremely panicked pilot — who gets his vox turned off. "Sorry, Major. Pinging like mad — eight — no, nine, ten — no, twelve — sixteen! Sixteen centurions and Fat Boy, closing in on your position from the opposite end of the runway."

[TAC1] "Cobra Actual" Michelle says, "Guns, Actual! Get airborne! We need air support, now! Walkers disgorging to the south! You are red and free!" A beat passes, the Major clearly excited as machineguns can be heard in the background. "Alpha!! We are under fire! Scramble your team!""

[TAC1] Polaris says, "Actual, Gunship, GO GO GO."

[TAC3] "Bootstrap" Trask says, "Alpha Team, Bootstrap. I say again: do you copy? The Eidolon has been hit. I say again: the Eidolon has been hit. Over."

Alright. Now's the time to start seeing about getting all the ducklings collected. Despite his predeilection to the contrary, he slips back out of the cockpit feet-first, landing on deck and heading for the hatch, giving a timid peek outside and switching on suit-to-suit to his missing backseater, letting Trask to deal with trying to contact Alpha. "Pickles? Pickles, do you hear me?"

[TAC3] "Bootstrap" Trask says, "Bunny, I'm just getting static from Alpha." Beat. "Frak."

Pickles is back in her seat, having heard news of the disaster over her still-working intercom. Vomit's brushed aside from her mouth. "Gods," she murmurs. "What do we do?"

Quinn is understandably anxious. "Prepped to go, Boots, just as soon as we have all our people."

[TAC1] "Bootstrap" Trask says, "Actual, Bootstrap. Alpha is still incommunicado. Advise if Alpha requires extraction."

"We can't get our people," Pickles adds, a little panicked.

[TAC3] "Bunny" Evandreus says, "I'm listening, Bootsies. I'm just trying to find— oh, she's back. Um, lemme give the comms a closer listen and I'll see if I can rig up a boost to it."

[TAC1] "Cobra Actual" Michelle says, "Negative! We're under fire, Alpha! Get your team and collapse back here! Leave your godsdamn Raptor if you have to, but warn them!"

Evandreus gets back into the cockpit once he's confirmed Pickles is back in her seat, "Get your helmet back on, Pickles, just in case, okay?" he calls back as he starts to set up the comm line to feed into his main console panel and try to fudge some sort of clarity from the mess.

[TAC1] "Bootstrap" Trask says, "Actual, Boots. 4 Raiders and another 4 tailing. ETA: 30 seconds. Alpha's heat sigs are masked. We're dead if we loiter. Advise."

[TAC1] "Cobra Actual" Michelle hesitates. "Romeo Tango Bravo, Alpha! This is a hot LZ, though!"

[TAC1] "Shiv" Sitka says, "Actual, I think we've got some heavy ordnance moving in. Don't suppose we could get some focus fire from the Gunship?"

[TAC1] Polaris says, "Gunship's on it. Suppressing now."

[TAC1] "Bootstrap" Trask says, "Bootstrap copies. We've been spooling FTL. On our way, barring explodey death. Out."

Evandreus opens up comms to the other ship, still only half-clipped in, "Jugs," he starts, "I've flown this region before, I'd be able to find the LC depot on foot, find us and our ducklings a ride out of here," he explains quickly. "You guys go, we'll set our DRADIS to scream and draw fire after we're out," he pitches the last part of the plan, then waits on yes/no from mum.

[TAC1] Polaris says, "Barto, Gunship — those missiles are starting to look mighty hot from this angle, sir. Figure they want to line this up good."

[TAC1] "Cobra Actual" Michelle says, "Well take them out, Guns! Abbot'll eat your innards for an appetizer if you come home without us and that ship is our ticket out!"

[TAC1] Kulko says, "Major! Got the door. Suggest a fighting retreat into the bunker."

[TAC1] Polaris says, "Wilco. We'll cover you as long as we can, but I'm telling you what'll shred stuff faster than our missiles: those godsdamned Vipers."

Quinn, understandably, is torn. In the end, she can't bring herself to leave the away team stranded, even at the risk of Evan. Reluctantly, she gets airborne and prepares to jump. "We'll see you soon," she manages to get out. Right now, she needs to focus on their duty and not personal feeling, difficult as that is for a softy like her.

The ECO is not at all pleased with the turn of events, but staying put and getting killed helps no one. With Bunny opting to draw fire, horrible became much worse. "If anyone asks, your radio got fried," Trask relays as jocularly as possible, which, in all actuality, is a grim attempt to mask his concern with humor. "Good thing those rabbit feet of yours are good luck. See you at home."

[TAC1] "Shiv" Sitka says, "Actual, permission for a few of us to assist with securing the facility and arming the vipers?"

[TAC1] "Cobra Actual" Michelle says, "Copy! Take one pilot with you and I'll replace you on the line!"

"Keep Greg warm for me, eh?" Is Evan's vow to return home. "Setting the comms to scream out in 20 on my mark. Pickles, medkits, toolkits, survival packs," he calls out briskly. "MARK," he calls, and squirms back out of the cockpit, slinging a survival pack onto his shoulder and just dragging a medkit along with him toward the door, where he pauses, reaches out, takes one of the repair kits off of Pickles on her way through the hatch, and then, compulsive as it may be, he scans the room one more time before jumping out after her and heading for cover.

"I'm pretty sure Pervy Cow already is, Bunny boy." And by acting like one of the few people in the world dear to him WILL NOT end up dead, Trask dodges another emotional bullet that might well hit him much later after a lengthy ricochet. That given as a farewell, ECM is poised for suppression while the FTL spools to jump to the coordinates the ECO plugs in.

Four Raiders scream in as Evan and Niobe squirm out, ignoring entirely the two small humans now dashing for cover amidst the square — just in time, too, as KEW fire slashes through the cockpit in which they'd been sitting. As they come about for another pass, their counterparts accelerate to match speed with Trask, screaming forward with their superior engines until they've leveled off.

From below, Evan and Pickle see a truly terrifying sight — a Raptor struggling to make her way into the air, pursued with seeming ease by Raiders whose bullets don't fail but hit home. Most skitter off the flying tank's armor; some, however, smash home, crushing the ship's fragile EW unit as they come about for another pass, guns blazing as the Raptor's FTL glows, glows — but is it too late?

It isn't. Quinn's bird soars into nothingness with a resounding crack as KEW bullets find nothing but air. Eyeslits humming in fury — yes, fury! — the stymied four join their quartet of friends in laying waste to Evandreus' abandoned Raptor, shredding it beyond repair as they circle and circle and circle again. It'll be five minutes more before, finished, they let up and leave, blinking off in eight coordinated flashes and leaving behind a truly deathly silence.

Evandreus gets himself and Pickle securely lodged on the inside of a wall, amid pieces of collapsed roofing, squinting up overhead as the Raptor struggles for survival and then slips out of the light in that shimmer of blue. He waits out the rest of the shooting, there, keeping his eyes shut and reaffirming his mental map of the area. He's more used to carousing here by car rather than by foot, but he calls up mental images of the intersections in question, where they fall in the city, and what they— well, what they used to look like, the Depot in the transport district… It's a while after the explosions stop that he sort of realizes that they're alone, his ears still ringing with the noise you never hear in a dogfight upstairs. He opens his eyes, and looks up again, then slowly rises to a crouch, then stands. "Alright, let's uh… let's get moving," he speaks up, getting his gear together in some sort of portable fashion.

Niobe trembles as she hugs herself to her pilot, her breath still smelling of vomit. "I think they went that way," she murmurs hoarsely, pointing somewhere to the west — though her gaze does stop at the shredded banner visible in the central gallery. The words she's got in mind are absolutely not suitable for public consumption.

Imagination Lane — Kythera — Leonis
In the past ten years, biotech firms have come to Kythera like moths to a flame, attracted by low taxes, a compliant mayor, lax regulatory oversight, and spectacular public transit. The landscape of Imagination Lane was thus in perpetual flux, as new companies bought land and erected buildings in a bid to join established giants like Regeneron, Syscom, and DNAtrix at the head of the line. Thanks to the Cylons, that competition has ceased, for every aboveground structure in this area has been laid low. Those employees that weren't killed outright are doomed to wander the underground labs below, locked in a dreadful race to find an exit before they succumb to starvation.

"I forgot how big this city is," Evan murmurs, the streets creeping by at a dreadfully slow pace with no human or vehicle traffic to bustle through. "When you can just hop the H it gets a lot smaller," he notes, squinting ahead toward an H stop. "They won't be running, now. Might be worthwhile to head underground when we go to the depot," he muses, half to himself. "At least I know what station to head to, and how to get there from the stop. And it'll be better than staying up here." A pause. "Probably," he grunts, edging around a pile of rubble.

Evandreus keeps a link open between his suit and Pickle's, but had left his ECO the task of staying put in the entryway once they started seeing signs of violence. The pilot himself pokes on ahead, sidearm perhaps regrettably left in holster, back burdened with a pack and medkit on one shoulder, toolkit held in both hands before him, as if it might come in useful as a shield.

Slowly, slowly — down the white hallway speckled with shells, that single protruding minigun smashed in by a horde of bullets; through the mirrored room with one wall missing, a charred human body resting before a magnificent medusa head; past the living quarters with fifteen bodies and that sinuous 's' of cups.

Dead bodies. You'd think Evan's seen enough of them, by now. Not only since the end of the world, but from the very beginning of his military career. But it's not an easeful process, not by any means, and from time to time his own forehead bobs downward, chin tipping toward throat as if he might vomit, himself. Fortunately, the coolness of the subterranean nexus chills him out of his nausea, leaving him with a vague shudder in his muscles, instead, as he inches past, listening out ahead, cautious.

All he hears at first is a thin, metallic scratch — a voice, tinny and cold, for lack of a better term. Then, the voices of his brethren — fear, wonder, awe, disbelief, all of it rolled up into one. The room beyond is dark, but the door is open, and in a chair at its center there flits a distinctive red light…

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