PHD #071: EVENT - Ain't Time to Pay the Ferryman Yet
Ain't Time to Pay the Ferryman Yet
Summary: Post-battle casualties prove to be non-fatal.
Date: 8 May 2041 AE
Related Logs: Preceded by How Sweet, Vengeance
Alessandra Daphne Kulko Laskaris Lunair Barto Quinn Sitka Tisiphone Trask 
Mountain Bunker — CFAS Anadyomene — Leonis
The builders of CFAS Anadyomene spared no expense. Cut deep into and under the ridgeline, its bunkered hangers extend as far as a battlestar's massive flight pod, carved by countless workers to create a tremendous man-made cavern. Reinforced iron girders criss-cross the ceiling to support the weight of the mountain about, inoperative lights and air recirculators hanging lifelessly from thick lateral I-beams. Pitch black darkness renders invisible those pieces of collapsed concrete that have fallen from the ceiling — and, at least initially, the bodies. Twenty, forty, fifty — the numbers climb the further in one goes: fuel monkeys with purple armbands, armaments specialists in red, mechanics in yellow, and pilots in their flightsuits' deep olive-brown.
Two rows of Vipers run the length of the cavern, twenty on each side — unused and, from the looks of it, undamaged, though some are still occupied by their dead pilots — well-preserved thanks to the airtight hard-seals around their neck and joints. Trucks loaded with live missiles and Viper ammunition sit fallow on the taxiway leading up to the surface, a few of them overturned on the floor. A single hatch leading deeper into the complex is visible on the right-hand path of what once was a fork, though that left passage is blocked by several tons of rubble. It's been welded shut from the inside, its locks shot to pieces for good measure.
Post-Holocaust Day: #71

Kulko walks unsteadily down the ramp after Kai, kneeling beside the Major and getting a good solid look at her injuries. "Ain't time to pay the ferryman yet, sir," he says quietly. Stephen rises and looks out over the horizon, from whence the enemy came, then back to their de facto base of operations. "Alright, y'all," he says, mostly to Kai and Lunair, though doubtless some of the Deck gang has wandered into the sunlight. "Let's get her inside and squared away."

Lunair looks a bit mournful. If only she were half as brave as the Major. She is gritting her teeth in lieu of allowing herself to cry. She just moves to keep the poor woman warm until first aid gets close. She pauses. She looks to Kulko and nods. "I'll help carry her." She promises. She is for once, genuinely sad and it's not easy to hide it.

Tisiphone seems to be remembering how to throw her Viper around in atmo by the time she comes in for a landing, thankfully. It doesn't take long for her to make her way back toward the mouth of the bunker, lingering there restlessly as she tries to spot familiar faces in the chaos.

<FS3> Trask rolls Athletic: Good Success.

There's a bit of a clatter and a thud, followed by an 'oof!' when Trask finally manages to free himself. Peering through streaks of sweat and blood dripping from his brow, his brown eyes scan the immediate area, frantically searching for Quinn. Finally spotting her, a combination of stubborn will, resilience, devotion, and adrenaline propels the man to start dragging himself, utterly determined, in her direction. His back may be sprained, but his arms are still functional. Admittedly, he's going at a snail's pace.

Daphne takes her viper in, comfortable in the atmosphere, but angry, regardless. Her hand lets go of the throttle once she's steered the craft down, and she pounds on the console once more, gloved hand balled up into a fist. She pops the canopy open and exposes a face bitter enough for lemons while she climbs out of the thing.

Kulko heads back to the bunker to take stock of the situation indoors. The stench has begun to dissipate, and the angle of the sun begins to throw light through the blasted remains of the doorway, illuminating the carnage. Just far enough inside to avoid the glare, Stephen waits for the Vipers to power down, then cups his hands as a de facto megaphone and shouts to those assembled. "Gather round, y'all!"

Lasher's smoking Viper sets down awkwardly a short distance from the others. He throws open the canopy with a grimace, leaping down from the cockpit. There's a line of blood trickling down his face; must have gotten knocked around a bit in all the 'excitement'. Other than that, he doesn't seem that much worse for the wear, though; he spends a few minutes circling the bird and cursing before slumping down against one of the landing struts. He realizes with a start there's still a pack of cigarettes in his black pants pocket; he quickly takes one out and lights it. This is certainly the time if there ever was one.

Alessandra's Viper comes in and is shut down in rapid succession and climbs out, going to where Kulko calls everyone. She's back to being stony, her expression blank and her demeanor unwelcoming.

For his part, Bootstrap is living up to his callsign. Grimly intent, he continues to drag himself towards Quinn. By now, the blood has trickled down his cheek to start pooling where his combat gear meets his neck.

Now here's a rich, /rich/ slice of irony, dished up especially for yonder displeased Lucky — Kulko shouts for everyone to gather around, while Tisiphone's perfectly in earshot, and then instead, she frowns off at the distance and suddenly starts legging it /away/ from him. "Raptor crew over here!" she shouts, without looking back.

Kulko sets about lighting a cigarette of his own while he waits for the dozen-and-change humans to assemble. He pulls a deep drag off the cigarette, sending it towards the doorway. "Knights, Petrels. I saw parachutes out there - means we've got people might be alive and in need of some T.L.C." Then Tisiphone's shouting. "Let's get them back here. Deck, see to those fires onboard Eidolon; let's figure out how bad she's broke. Marines, let's get that hatch open and see what we can salvage. On the bounce, people."

Laskaris doesn't exactly get up in a hurry at Kulko's summons — though Tisiphone's shout does create something of a sense of urgency. Looking startled, he pushes himself up off the ground, cigarette still bobbing in his lips as he bounds in the direction of the bald ensign's hail. He's got eyes for nothing but the pair of indiscriminate forms on the ground a distance ahead of him.

Alessandra looks around while Kulk gives out orders, her eyes glazing over as it finally sinks in. She doesn't give herself time to worry now as she's catching Tis' call for help. She bolts over there, not quite hot on Las' heels but almost; she's not a medic or anything like that but maybe she can help regardless, eh?

Daphne presses her back against her viper, not really going anywhere in particular until Tisiphone shouts. She exhales to herself, stands up straight, and then completely disregards Kulko…. insubordination is clearly in, today. So is dumping on poor Kulko. She breaks out into a run, in fact.

Kulko, for his part, moves off to assist the demolition team in forcing (preferably) or destroying (as a last resort) the accessway to the medical ward. The hauling of pilots and fighting of fires are a bit beyond his abilities at the moment.

Being that Quinn didn't crash too far away from Trask, by the time the other pilots reach the Harriers, he's managed to make it to his best friend's side. "Maggie…" he rasps. "C'mon, Mags…" As he tries to push up to check her vitals, his injured back shrieks its protest and he finds himself scarcely avoiding kissing asphalt, his face twisting in agony that he grits his teeth through.

It's too far to sprint — or maybe she's winded — either way, Tisiphone doesn't make it to Trask and Quinn any faster than the other pilots headed that way. "Boots!" It's Bunny's version of his callsign, and what comes to mind first. "You okay? The Captain-?" Less certainly, that. "Where are the others?" She looks to the others — hoping, maybe, that somehow a first aid kid has been summoned from the ether.

When Laskaris arrives on the scene, his first move is towards Trask, the apparently lesser injured of the two. He's not medically inclined, and it's been longer since first aid training for him than for others. He takes the man by the shoulders. "Trask. Easy, lad." Lasher's grip is careful but unyielding as he pulls Trask over to lie the man out on his back. "Got to get you two off this bloody asphalt."

Just another body on the floor of the hangar near the entrance except this one hasn't actually expired yet. Barto's hand twitches, fingers slowly curling into a fist before her eyes lips open. Her head rolls easily in her helmet and she looks to the activity around, trying to focus on something. She's silent, though. At least the patch on her chest has her breathing. Those eyes drift back to the ceiling as her hand moves up to a pendent on her neck.

Daphne rapidly gets to discover that no. She can't run that far. It's been a couple years since the academy, afterall. But jogging does get her the rest of the way there… sweaty, out of breath, but there. Palms grip around her knees while she takes a moment, and then stands on her own. "Frak frak frak frak frak."

<FS3> Trask rolls Athletic: Good Success.

Rolling someone with a sprained back unto said sprained back? BAD IDEA. Notwithstanding the possibility of a spinal cord injury not being initially ruled out — which, thankfully, there is none — it's gonna frakkin' hurt like whoa. Trask is built Taurian tough, though, and not even the sudden agonizing surge that inflames that region manages to knock him out. Scream, however, he most certainly does. "RRRAaarrRRAraaaHhh!" More sweat beads his brow as blood continues to trickle from underneath his helmet, slowly clotting at the source, while he instinctively attempts to tear away from Lasher's ministrations.

"No need to keep it quiet - they know we're here," Kulko reminds the Corporal attending to the Medical Bay door. "Maybe snag some of those welders, cut through like butter." Then he's limping over towards Barto, where he settles down at her side and watches her rest.

Lasher doesn't let Trask go, but neither does he keep trying to roll Trask over. Hmm. Back injury. Noted. "Fine, eat tarmac for all I care," he grunts. "Sounds better'n dirt, eh?" Caustic words aside, he reverses Trask's course, propping him back as he was, with his face to the ground. "Stay there, Lieutenant," he orders sharply, slowly rising to his feet. "Don't move." Raising his eyes towards the horizon, he calls out. "Someone get me a board — " a pause, and a look down to Quinn — "no, two boards out here!" Laskaris shouts back to the group near the bunker.

Seeing Kulko approach from the corner of her eye, Michelle blinks slowly as her head lolls a bit to face him. Her hand balls around the pendent as she struggles to breath through her injuries. "Report," she manages through a whisper, her voice a strain.

Tisiphone just stares pale-faced and helpless-looking at Trask and Quinn for several long seconds. "Frak, we need a-" she starts to say, before Laskaris's bellow cuts her off. "Yeah. Yeah. Backboards. Frak, I'll go look for a medkit, too." Which she should have thought of, before jogging out here. Genius, Ensign. With that, she's legging it back toward the bunker.

In spite of the searing pain and not knowing if his best friend ever (TM) is even alive, Trask still manages to sardonically groan out, "Wouldn't know… dirt… in my… neighbor…hhhood was too… puh… polluted t'eat." Eyes closed, his face is tense, and he doesn't seem at all inclined to move. "Maggie… is she…?"

"Ain't good, sir. Eidolon's out of commission; Deck's tryna get the fires out so we can figure out how bad. Two Raptors down, SAR is ongoing. No KIAs, at least." He pauses and looks up, towards the door and the setting sun. "We gotta bug out, sir. Can't stay here. They're toyin' with us, know where we are and what we're doin."

"Do I look like a godsdamn doctor to you?" Lasher asks, fingers finally removing that cigarette from his lips as he looks down on Trask. "She's breathin', anyway." A pause. "I think." The blond man shakes his head. "Just shut up an' hang tight, we'll get you off the flightline and on to somethin' a little more palatable." His head turns back towards the bunker, Lasher looking impatiently for those backbraces. "Ah, who'm I kiddin'," he mutters, half to himself. "Telling the likes of you to shut up is like tellin' the rivers to stop flowing."

The Major takes it all and closes her eyes, trying to catch her breath through the labored movements of her lungs. She finally coughs, little droplets of blood coming back down in one or two places on her face. That seems to clear up her breathing a little but she doesn't look any better. "Cerberus." Her eyes open. "Salvage… Eidolon." She squeezes her pendent, face grimacing. "Link-up. Get out."

"Or you t'stop ffffrakkin' sheep…" The words are aspirated, but Trask still manages to get them out.

Puff, pant, wheeze. Le gasp. Le sigh. Tisiphone comes to a stumbling halt at the mouth of the bunker and shouts, windedly, "Where's the frakking medbay? We need some backboards to get the Raptor crew in!"

Decorum be damned. Stephen reaches out and wipes the blood from the Major's face, brows drawing together. "Depends on the word from the deck gang. She ain't gonna fly anytime soon… maybe she can jump. Prolly not." He pulls a last drag off his cigarette and puts it out on the hangar floor. "Calvin's team should still have a— hang on." At Tisiphone's entrance, he rises, walking stiffly her way. "Sealed up from the inside, Tis. CMC's workin' on it. Might take a while."

Barto looks up to Tisi and clears her throat after Kulko wipes away the blood from her face. "Use wreckage, Ensign. Viper.. sheeting." Its about all she can manage for a moment before her head lolls back to look at the ceiling.

"Here, now," Laskaris protests mildly. "I'll have you know the only bleedin' sheep in our neighborhood were just as toxic as Black Country dirt." A beat. "Anyone what tried to frak Arthur Lakis' sheep but Arthur Lakis himself tended to end up with an acute case of lead poisoning." Another look towards the bunker, at Tis and Kulko in particular. "Are you kidding me?" he asks with a sneer. "Use the frakkin'— yeah, that." Apparently, they all get the same idea at about the same time.

Tisiphone looks from the mostly-bled-out Major to Kulko. "What the frak do you MEAN, it's sealed? Just-" She raises a hand, scrubbing hard at her scalpfuzz. "Just frakking blast it open. Frak, I'll do it myself." This is what happens when Ensigns stray too far from their Squadron Leader. They get ideas like this. "Use the frakking Viper cannons on the frakking thing."

"Speak from ex…peeerience, eh?" groans the Black Country boy. After all, acute lead poisoning isn't the same as fatal lead poisoning. There is strained pause, and then Trask is again calling out, "Maggie..?"

Kulko runs a hand through his hair. Is that a grey one? Couldn't be. He looks to the medical bay, then the nearby Vipers. "Fine. But be careful - won't do no good if you trash everythin' inside." Stephen fishes out another cigarette and heads for the door to clear the CMC types away.

Barto is still chillin. Like a wounded villian.

Lasher snorts, shaking his head. "Indeed not. Someone's got to shake these ridiculous stereotypes. Eh, you lazy dirt-eating bastard?" It ought to keep Trask talking, anyway. "Right. I'm goin' to see what the frak is happening here. You don't frakkin' move." He lingers at the man's side for a moment, finishing off his cigarette and tossing it aside before taking a couple steps off towards the bunker.

Be careful, while firing a Viper indoors? Of course. What else could you be /but/ careful? You could also be deafening — which the sound of the Viper's cannons going off inside the bunker will doubtless be. The sound is immense, the shower of sparks blinding. At least the unloaded Viper ordinance isn't near the Medbay doors. It takes several pulses of gunfire before Tisiphone has to stop and squint at the dust and smoke, trying to tell if the Deed Is Done.

Kulko has scarcely cleared the area when Tisiphone opens fire, and there's a momentary glare sent up towards the cockpit. The Marines storm in with rifles leveled, and Kulko shambles in after them. Maybe he can scare up some painkillers…

The exploratory contingent doesn't take long to emerge again. Kulko's got one hand over his mouth; the other helps a Corporal carry a plastic backboard. As they get clear of the doorway, they drop it unceremoniously and make for fresh air. "Holy frak," is all Stephen can say at first.

"Neither lazy nor dirt-eatin'," Trask murmurs in response to Laskaris, the words somewhat muffled from his cheek planted to the ground. "Said so. Guess it was acute lead poisoning, ya bein' deaf." For hearing problems is one of several symptoms of such.

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