PHD #017: Auditory Assault
Auditory Assault
Summary: Marines on the hunt run into something a little off in the bulkhead near munitions.
Date: 15 March 2010
Related Logs: None
Demos Cadmus Silas Kiryl 
Deck 5 Fire & Munitions - Battlestar Cerberus Condition Level: 2 - Danger Close

The floorplating along the corridors of the Cerberus are standard military. Their forged steel plates are welded seamlessly together to run nearly the entire length of each hallway. The hallways themselves are the typical load-bearing structural design of the angled quadrilateral. Oxygen scrubbers and lighting recesses are found at nearly perfect intervals throughout the angled passageways.

The corridor is in its usual condition: Empty. At least at first blush. As one approaches the systems room, the corner of a panel plate is visible. A screwdriver clatters across the hallway, followed by some muffled banging that quickly stops. An access chute has been exposed, and there is an excess of dust and metal bits on the floor below it.

"…heard all about the trip to lay some ink on Apostolos. Money Shot. Whatever. If you don't mind, I'll probably request your skills myself, in the near future. I don't have much to trade in return, though." Lance Corporal Cadmus Maragos is speaking casually with Private Silas Trista, while the two plus Sergeant Demos are walking phalanx down the corridor. Every now and again, Cadmus will pause, look down a cross-hallway, and listen. Looking for somebody, that much is certain.

[Intercom] Bannik says, "Pass the word. Lieutenant Oberlin, report to the port-side hangar deck. Lieutenant Oberlin, to the port-side hangar deck."

Pvt Trista, aka Silas, Hestia, and any number of other creations/mixes of her name(s) walks along with Lcpl Maragos and Sgt Demos, her boots light on the Deck. She walks softly, does the little brunette. To Cadmus, she replies, "Trade works itself out," she notes, with a slight smile. One must not smile too much on duty. It makes the SargeKingBeast stern. "If you got the inclination, I got the time. Don't worry about the rest, Lance Corporal. Tis, er, Ensign Apostolos seems happy with hers. It was pretty busy in there when I was workin' on her." Pilots, you know? She falls silent as they reach a spot in the corridor for a little listen.

Walking along with the others, Demos is half listening to the conversation while her attention is focused on their search. At each connecting hallway, she looks down the opposite corridor from Cadmus. The movement is smooth, almost simultanious, giving the impression that the two have done this a time or two before. "If you have the time, Private, I would like to talk to you about some ink as well. Though there is; by no means, any hurry." Her tones, while not Caprican in origin, are clipped and cultivated. The sound of the screwdriver registers and she lifts a hand, a slight frown touching her brow. Silently, then, she points ahead, then signals the three to split up and approach from slightly different angles. Might be nothing. Might be something. The woman seems calm enough, though she drops the other hand to check her weapon in its holster.

The sound of voices warped by distance and echo alike chase the screwdriver down. A hollow thud sounds from the access shaft, a sharp sound too and then the unique torture of metal scraping on metal. A hunk of twisted, half-molten scrap screams out of the chute to careen into the opposite wall like a rock spun over a pond. Frayed wiring pokes out of the mass, though it shows no sign of smoking.

Cadmus draws up to a halt at the exosed wiring, placing his hands on his hips. He does really look like he's about to utter something like 'Well, what do we have here, Sunny Jim?' but actually manages to avoid any stereotypical cop reactions. Instead, he leans over, poking his head toward the open hatch. "Excuse me!" he says loudly, "I was hoping you could point me toward the whereabouts of one Mister Kiryl Strelokov. He's a civilian, and one of the deck crew on Eight said he was last seen on this deck!"

Silas nods to Demos, then her posture shifts a little at the raised hand. The nod, for the moment, sill have to suffice as an acknowledgment of the request. Saggies, if nothing else, learn two things at an early age: stealth and hiding. Ka-sneak, sneak. She backs up the other two, being the youngest and least experienced. She hides a smirk at Cadmus' tourist approach to questioning folks tucked into access hatches. Ahem. Stoic, private.

Demos knows Cadmus pretty well, or likes to think so. Using his query to cover any sound of her own movements, she shifts to the other side of the opening. The burnt and twisted piece of whatever-it-was bounces out near her feet, rolling to a stop not far away. She does not draw her pistol, but looks mightily interested in the component. Investigating a fire and here are more firey bits. Her brow arches almost aristocratically, though she; too, remains silent for now.

"B'tok rosh nkussh, hakkurna aftafrunh!" By the time any words reach the bottom of the chute they've been attenuated into nigh indescribable sounds. Those noises are soon accompanied by an arrhythmic hammering which speeds up as it approaches. Suddenly at the level of the ceiling the banging explodes into a clatter like boots thrown in the dryer. It is accompanied by a high-pitched shrieking sound—there are certain modulated explosives timers that do much the same thing.

And that is exactly when a call comes over the intercom requesting that "Sergeant Phaedra Demos report to the Security Hub." The call does not mute, nor mitigate the noises coming from the chut and the woman thus summoned rolls her eyes in faint irritation. Easing to the side, she pauses to speak in a low tone to Cadmus, then waves to Silas as she moves rapidly down the hall. Before long, she turns down an intersection and is lost to sight.

Pause. Listen. Cadmus steps off to the side of the opening in the wall, pulling out his flashlight and settling down on one knee. "What the frak is that…" he mutters, clicking the light on to take a swift look into the hole. "Hey, get the frak out of there!" he barks, hand on his pistol. If he knows the sound could possibly be an explosive, he sure doesn't show it. Given that any sane individual would freak out, though, it's likely that he simply has no idea.

Silas shoots a look at Cadmus, and then advances on the panel opening with much haste. "You got demo training?" The question is hushed, but clearly enunciated. It's not really meant to alarm, but from the look in the little private's eyes, that sound from up top of that access chute, that sound is a bad sound. There's a look about her, as she pats down her pockets, that clearly says she's about to dive into the wall and shimmy her small frame up. "If not, might want to back up, Lance Corporal." That clears up any mystery as to what Silas thinks is going on up top.

The tumbledry bluster explodes at the bottom of the shaft in a sudden strike like thundrous lightning, Cadmus having just enough time to shoot but not enough to tell what he'd be shooting at. The noise is deafening, an earsplitting sound the likes of which could make a body consider briefly if they were hearing the sound of the abyss itself coming to claim the soul from their rapidly cooling body.

… When bodies prove not to be lifeless, the shape of a head, upside-down, is sticking out of the access hatch. It is bright red, with eyes bulging like a case of airlock asphyxiation. The jaw agape, hair sticking at odd angles with spectacles on an athletic strap tangled up in the mass. It may take a moment to realize the keening is still there. No longer warped and reshaped by metal tubing, it is only identifiable when the body pauses to take a breath before returning to a shriek more easily matched to a very young girl than a grown man.

"What the shit…" Inarticulate though it may be, Cadmus throws himself backwards on his heels, and ungently springs away from the ductwork. Credit where credit is due, however: his flashlight goes tumbling across the deck, while his duty pistol has appeared in it's place. Very shortly thereafter he is on his feet again, pressed against the wall. The gun is not aiming anywhere, simply ready. "Private, what the frak is this about *demolitions*?!" he shouts, obviously suddenly much more worried than he had been several moments prior.

Private Trista silently ticks the counts of the noise from above, though her heart rate picks up with the possibility of unauthorized explosives in play. Shortly, the tumble down of an upside down body, poking just out of the hatch, startles her with the mimicking of a demo countdown. Oh, that's coming out of a human. No boombooms in play. Silas blows out an audible breath, a relief, but her hand snaps to her pocket, and she yanks out a small canister — fsssssshhhhhh. When in doubt, mace it.

Trista asides, "Sorry, Corp. Dude sounded like a timer. My bad."

With the sudden introduction of painful sensory overload agents into Kiryl's face, the only thing that drowns out his shrieking is the flail of limbs inside the access hatch. At lest until the involuntary drooling starts, followed by a choking from the overproduction of mucuous in sinuses that can't drain the way the mace manufacturer had intended them to. Being upside-down, and all. On the up-side, pardon the pun, at least his position means there's no chance of drowning on his own spittle!

"Trista, are you telling me that wasn't an alarm? It was a *person*?" Cadmus says, sliding closer to the hatchway. It's hard to make a cop look totally incredulous, but Silas has managed it with five simple words. His face is screwed up, mouth slightly open, eyes flicking left and right as he brain searches for words to attach to his utter confusion. "Well… Shit. Get him out. Is it a crewman…?" he finally continues, holstering his pistol and collecting his flashlight.

Silas continues to spray for quite a while longer than necessary, like an over-ractive housewife, a can of RAID, and a waterbug. Swim, swim, DIE BEAST. She stops, finally, thinks better of it, and gives another squirt just to be sure. Fsssshrr. Fsssh. Fsh. Okay, maybe three little extra squirts. The mace hand lowers, then comes up again as she eyes the upside down dude. She tips her head to the other side, and finally lowers it. There's a flick to the other marine, then she nods, stows the can, and bends with a step forward to take hold of the shoulders, and pulll. "No bitin', biter."

Being short and scrawny helps the topsyturvy techie's lot, sort of like the mace actually helps his throat from getting too raw from all that shouting. There's a good reason for it all, as it turns out, beyond just falling upside-down in a confined space. He's sure to point it out to them, flailing his right hand first at Silas, then Cadmus, to show them the mousetrap snapped over a finger. Still squealing, mind.

Stare. Cadmus just *stares*, with that incredulity on his face slowly giving way to the usual cool and impassive demeanor. It does take him a good minute, though. "Who the frak are you, what the frak are you doing in the tubes, and why the frak shouldn't I freak the hell out about some unauthorized *person* poking around in the delicate inner workings of a state of the art Battlestar?" Cadmus says shortly, apparently having lost all humor and good cheer along with his confusion.

Silas drags the abused and burninating techie out of the access, more or less careful about extremities not already free of the bulkhead's embrace. There's a tumble, then a rustle, and the man is bunked down on the deck. She does a very faint eyeshift to Cadmus as the mouse trap is revealed, then sweeps a hand over to attempt a capture of the mousetrapped hand. Marines: to protect and serve with mace to the face and free mouse trap removal. Mucosal irritation is complimentary. Private Trista leaves all the poetical parts to Cadmus.

He doesn't seem all that coherent at the moment, even with the trap removed from his bruised digit. The screaming has stopped, or at least eased off, though each time the fellow opens his mouth to speak he's quick to snap it shut and stifle a yelp, squeezing the injured finger with his other hand.

Cadmus seems content to wait. Nor does he seem in any hurry to move off and collect some water for the unfortunate gentleman, at least until he has some answers. Instead, he pulls the wireless off his belt and talks into it: "Cerberus Security Desk, this is Able Three-One. Suspicious individual located in ductwork of Deck 5. Recommend CHENG Gabrieli alerted, so we can figure out what the hell he was doing in the goddamn tubes. Over."

Pvt Trista stands, careful where she puts her hands. There's undoubtedly some mace splash back after she manhandled the guy. "Don't rub your eyes — just makes it worse." Her marine fostered compassion runs deep, as is evidenced by her words to the questionable fellow. It seems the young woman might be a little sore over that demo misunderstanding earlier.

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