PHD #440: Chasing the Boogeyman
Chasing the Boogeyman
Summary: Ciro interrupts Vandenberg's training session to speak about ghosts and shadows.
Date: 12 May 2042 AE
Related Logs: None
Vandenberg Ciro 
Training Room
A little taller than most rooms, this one was able to find some space under a section of Engineering that didn't require it. Overhead from the deck is a small catwalk where observers can watch the goings-on below them between the shift able walls. Nominally, set up for training in urban terrain, the course offers a variety of different training grounds with the different configurations including homes, offices and even battlestar corridors. All ammunition used in this area is paint or laser and as the signs repeat on every wall, the use of lead ammunition is a violation of Naval Regulations.!
Post-Holocaust Day: #440

Early morning. Not too long after PT has ended, there's activity to be heard from the Training Room. Normally set up for MOUT, its no different lately except for the use of the zipline for airborne training. But this time, its a little harder to tell what's going on in here. The first thing to notice is that it is pitch black in here. The second is the heat - its easily ninety plus degrees. The small amount of pale light allowed from the corridor allows the shapes of randomly strewn wall pieces that can't be seen to make any real pattern. There's targets made up as well.. Then there is the sound of gunfire from deeper in the room - maybe forty yards in and back in the depths of the dark. The light on the wall outside the hatch indicates sim rounds are currently in use. The table by the door has stacks of full gear on it including NVGs and rifles - though none are loaded with anything.

Sim rounds are a good sign, something that lets Ciro know that should he wander onto the course he's not going to get filled with holes. Taking up a pair of night vision goggles, he leaves the unloaded rifle behind and straps the NVGs to his head. Flipping them on, he gazes around the entryway, letting the small bits of light form tracers across his vision as he moves his head. He steps into the course, following the trail to track down the shooter in silence.

There's the barely audible sound of boots squicking on the deck floor, the sounds quick like the Marine in here is moving at just under a jog. Speed course, probably. Three more shots ring out on a burst - real close. A few rows over. Then the boots turn and begin heading in the direction of Ciro and they're still moving at speed. That hallway only seems to empty right into his location.

Keeping silent and as still as the shadows around him, Ciro waits until he's sure that the form is just about to turn the corner. He bounces on the balls of his feet and the moment he sees the body turning, he judges the height and instantly knows just who it is. Reaching to grab her by the front of whatever protective gear, if any, she wears on her torso, he growls and slams her into the wall at full strength.

Vandenberg is is full gear. Its not even her assault vest. Its her full parachute jump gear as well as combat webbing, helmet, NVG's, and loaded for bear with ammo and a full packed rucksack. The woman who mightly normally weigh in the neighborhood of one-hundred twenty pounds (accounting for muscle) probably weighs about sixty extra. So when she turns the corner into a growling shape, she yelps quite loudly and recognizes a form.. Its human! The gun is lowered even as she is picked up and thrown against the wall. She let's off another short scream at the impact though its not painful, more surprise. "ALMIGHTY FRAKS!" she belts out, still in shock, looking at the face in front of her through the NVG's. She lifts her gloved, sweaty hands and belts him about the shoulders a few times, starting to laugh. "You frakkin dag! Oughtta string you out in y'birthday suit an keelhaul you!" she chuckles out, still hitting him playfully. "Lemme go 'fore I ruin that waggin, growlin jaw, yeah!"

Her knuckles slam against the meat of his upper arm, raising his arm to block the last one as he lets her go and takes a step back. Grinning like a madman at her through the goggles, he points at her. "Man there are times I wish I had a camera crew following me around…" He laughs, reaching in to give her shoulder a hard shove, a hard dog-plattoon style shove. To her credit, though, the last punch to his arm makes him wince, the muscle tenderized by getting hit in the same place multiple times over. "…it's no big deal though, no one's gonna know that Sondray about scared the piss out of you, it'll be our little secret." He grins, keeping a respectable distance. "What's goin on, Captain?"

Vandenberg laughs with him, even with the shove. "Careful, ya frak. I'm armed!" She leers at him, hefting the GMAR. There's even a grenade launcher on it. "I'ma have you run this course alone all night one night and I'm gonna tell that amerous little hussy in CIC with ten diseases you set up a dark room to drop knickers in just for her and yourself!" She grins and steps off the wall and motions for him to walk with her back through the maze while she catches her breath. Its not hard to see that she's soaked in sweat. All that gear and in this heat? No surprise. "Setting up our training lab for Gemenon. Its gonna be warm down there. I'm gonna have you all in full gear runnin this course an hour each. Then we're going to run it as a group. Then we're going to run it in opposing teams of three each. I was just testing it out."

Following behind her, Ciro can't help but smirk at the sheer amount of pride he's feeling, rolling off of him in waves after the monumental hit on his supreme overlord. That isn't a chance that'll happen again in a long time. "What makes you think I'm so easily lured, Captain? According to what used to be the regs, those CIC girls are way off limits. I'd see that coming a mile away." He replies, turning one of the corners with her. "Sounds good, I should be ready for that. I've been off caffeine and jogging up and down the halls for the last few weeks in sweats. Did that tour on Sag. Shouldn't be anything I haven't done before." He pauses. "Pretty fast course it looks like."

Van snorts. "Says who? The lil' strawberry-headed tart I'm thinkin of is enlisted. Just perfect for a jerkass like y'self." Her accent is strong this morning. More-so than usual. Feelin' her home, apparently. "We'll see how you stack. I also want a fifteen mile ruck march Sunday morning at zero four hundred. Fore to stern." That's about seven trips back and forth along the length of the ship in full gear. "The course is designed to be fast through most of it and tight in surprising areas. Keep people on their toes." She walks past a Centurion target next to a hostage civilian before they break out into the rest of the room. "Forty-plus enemies. Unknown number of civilians. Every shot into a civilian will earn each shooter one hour scrubbing the Air Wing head. Including me."

"I like that you add yourself into that shit, you know. It's good that we're going to be going down into that with brass that doesn't think themselves separate from the rest of us, all height differences aside." Ciro muses, glancing at the targets as he passes. It's a futile effort memorizing the positions of the Centurions as they're likely to change. Vandenberg isn't stupid. "Fore to stern? Alright I can do that. I'll just have to check out all the gear. I take it no sense in hiding the scuttlebutt anymore? They're gonna know we're prepping for something…"

"I used to not." Vandenberg wipes the sweat from her brow and heads over towards the table by the entrance. "Goggles off," she warns before removing her own and turning the lights back on. "When I was a fresh Ensign I did all the dumb exceptionalism bullshit they tell you to. My first year was hell. Everyone hated me and I couldn't figure out why. Someone told our divisional Sergeant Major about me and he sat me down and made me listen. That was one of the first things he hit me on. The guy actually decked me, too." She smirks, removing her helmet. "I was mad at my platoon and made them ruckmarch twenty miles while I sat at home sleeping off a hangover." The woman rolls her eyes at herself. "They had lots of fun names for me. Some including my height." She sets the rifle on the table with her helmet, stripping off the ruck. "Nah, people will see us ruckmarching and figure its normal. It only causes problems if we make it obvious. We do it in fullgear and just tell people we frakked-up bad and can't talk about it. We let this cat out of the bag its goin to be a disaster for us."

NVGs off, he sets them down on the table next to the collection of rifles. Once more, he glances over the course and marks a few of the positions, making a few mental notes as to what she might have in store for them. "My thoughts exactly. I bumped into that Bannik guy and asked him a few questions from the curious-about-the-manifesto point of view, so no worries there. After that conversation, though, I wonder if there's any point in tracking down that reporter. Seems they're going all in on this one." He huffs, shaking his head. "How frakkin stupid is that? So I told the guy I wouldn't let anyone kill him but if he's selling us out I'll murder him with my own hands."

The Captain tosses the ruck onto the floor and starts walking loose circles, lifting her arms over her head. "Yeah," she breathes, her rate coming back to normal. "I talked to the both of them, actually. Bannik was pretty hostile towards me until Sawyer shut him down. I've spoken to her and she's starting to see why this is all dangerous. The problem is getting religion involved in something like this. Just..dumb." She smirks, shaking her head. "I get it, but the larger is emphasized, the bigger the problem, Sergeant. You remember Sag. The religious fanatics out there were the worst." Her arms drop and she starts unbuckling the harness. "He should be worried about being killed. But so should we. If we find something down there that makes us think 'trap' and we don't have firm proof, these religious nutters might come after us. If it turns out to conclusively be a trap?" She chuckles. "Bannik is frakking dead and there won't be anyplace we can keep him safe."

"That's what I've been thinking. I mean, there's no use in losing sleep over it. The best I can do is not let anyone know what we're up to so that I know I'm not that link. Fact is, I don't really even trust you. I just keep my eyes open and if it goes to shit down there we'll take care of eachother the best we can. It's been a lovely frakkin' war." He shrugs, moving to lean against the wall. "As for Bannik, I think the fact that the little nerd is already burdened with being some sort of boy-genius is probably adding to his head. He actually told me that he thought something might be too philosophical for me." He smirks. "He was probably right."

Natalie chuckles and slips off the jump gear. It clunks to the floor in a heap and she works on the webbing. "If you leak this shit, losing sleep will be the least of your problems. I'm pretty sure I could make a treason charge stick." She nods a few times. She sounds like she's joking, but this woman has a reputation - she is simultaneously the blunt force and tipped spear of the Corps for the officers. "If you don't trust me? Fine by me. We ain't seen a lot of action together. Ain't my problem. Either my actions speak for themselves or they don't. I sleep just fine at night with what I've done. You ever get curious about the combat record I can prove, just ask." She shrugs but quirks her brow at the last bit. "I'd have straight laid him out on the ground for a remark like that."

"Hey, hey take it easy. I trust your combat record just fine. If you didn't forget we've got infiltrators likely somewhere and they keep popping up." He glances to Natalie, watching her closely. "Next thing you know that strawberry haired girl in CIC with the warts that you dump off on me will strangle me, leave me for dead…" He snorts. "…then again if she could pull that off with those skinny arms I probably deserve it."

"I'd spend money that there are probably still skinjobs inside this fleet. That's why I take the leaking of this operation very seriously. As for your trusting me?" She chuckles. "Relaaaaaaaax. Its alright. Like I said, no sleep lost. I've got nothing to prove. But if I thought everyone around me was a Cylon, I'd probably go apeshit. 'Sides, some have apparently been quite helpful, yeah." She winks at him and reaches out to chuck his shoulder. "Bah, its the little people you gotta watch for. Nimble, ready swat yer rear like a ninja!"

"Well…maybe I'm going a little apeshit. Though it's spooky, considering just how at one second, helpful cylon or not, someone might have a knife for your back. I don't have any time for that, and it's for that very reason why I keep to myself as much as possible." He grunts, reaching out to shove Vandenberg in the direction of the wall, trying to bully her around. "Maybe not you, though, I'm sure if the cylons made you, you'd probably be listed as a two point five…"

Vandenberg shrugs. "Anyone could do that anyway walking down a dark alley on Canceron before the bombs. There's nothing new there. Its just now you're looking at Cylons only? Which could be everyone?" The woman chuckles. "Shit Sergeant, that's batty." The push and the remark gets a roll of her eyes though and her arms move quickly. This is why she is a martial arts instructor. One hand moves to his wrist to exert just a slight amount of pressure down while the other hand of hers grabs his and pushes the fingers up and back.. just slightly. Its a move designed to get someone subdued and on their knees - and/or break their wrist in the process. She's not really attempting to do either. Just letting him know. "That was y'last hit, Sergeant. Aye?" She's firm on it, but the light mood hasn't left her eyes. Just a friendly warning.

His knees hit the floor with a loud thud, and the mohawked marine flashes his eyes towards the smaller, more compact, more decorated marine. Gritting his teeth, he gives her a silent war-face as he utterly refuses to give in to the pressure point. His neck muscles bulge out, and his biceps flex in an attempt to hold the pain at bay. The silent snarl turns into a growl, and as the pressure remains he holds on till the last moment. To his credit, he's got willpower. "BAH! ALRIGHTFINEGETOFF." He barks, trying to pull his wrist away. She's made her point, and she's done right by showing him she's not a pushover. "…you're a son of a bitch, Van."

Van seems a little surprised to see the man drop so quick but smirks and drops it after the bark. "I cain't break ya, Sergeant. I need your digger-ass for the drop, yeah." To the last she laughs and nods. "Yep. Nailed that one true, ya did. Ain't a thing, though. The other thing that Sergeant Major told me? I sucked at hand to hand. I took a few lessons. Then I started teachin' a few." She winks at him and moves for the table, taking off the green camo shirt meant for ground ops. "Hot as a motherfrakker in here. So you ready for this jump and operation? I expect you at the briefing on Sunday."

"Yeah, I'm gonna be there." Ciro says, turning his eyes away to give her a little privacy. From a hundred feet away she looks rather underage. "I was a little surprised that you chose me as grenadier, but I'm versatile. Just expect me to keep up with my recon angle, drawing sketches out and logging weather and whatnot. What I'm really interested in seeing is what kind of radiation they've got going down there." He looks back to her, lifting his shoulders in a noncommital shrug. "I'm ready. My head's in the game. I've done hot in a warzone. It's about frakkin' time I get some dirt under my feet."

She's wearing tanktops underneath. Not like they don't have a communal head anyway. Van isn't shy. Scars litter her arms and back thats visible. Burns and blast damage, it looks like. "We've got reasons for all of it. You're bigger than our Delta Mikey." Designated Marksman. "You can huck more weight and we'll want plenty of forty mikemike just in case. As for what I expect of you, that's one of the reasons you are going. I don't want just people shooting video and taking photos. I want sketches and notes. They eyes see things the camera can miss. Besides, you can't smell with a camera. Nor can you feel the environment. A digital doesn't have hairs on the back of the neck that stand up." She tosses the shirt onto the table and moves to the locker beside it, opening it for more sim ammo. "Rad reports are minimal but still there, I guess. But yeah, it'll be nice to feel solid terra one more time."

"Makes sense, I'm a big bastard. I can lug the weight and I qual'd pretty good on the underbarrel. I think you did the right thing picking a more level-headed squad like you did. I met a few of the others, and Decumius and I knew eachother from the Jharkhand. It'll be good getting out in the sticks with him." He turns his gaze back to the rifles and NVGs as she goes through the simultion ammo. "I'll tell you what, if you trust Constin, and he trust you, then I'm willing to give a little of my faith in you not being a spy. If the shit hits the fan down there, you know where I'm going to regroup to. If even more shit hits the fan and allegiances get mixed? I'm gonna have your back." He looks over to her. "Just remember that."

"There's no other way to do it. We've got Marines between raging psychotic pissed at the Cylons and full-on peaceniks. I won't take either. I want people either smart enough to keep their shit to themselves or are actually smart enough to keep it in check with their options open. We aren't here to make up our orders." She takes her rifle off the table and unloads it. The woman starts topping it off, though, rather than anything else. "As far as Constin goes?" Van glances to Ciro and back to the mag. "I trust him more than I trust anyone else alive right now cept for maybe Captain Vakos. Does he trust me?" She chuckles. "I can say with everything I know that he does. If alliegances get mixed, I will shoot anyone who goes against this battlegroup. My priority is the safety and security of this fleet. I won't jeaopardize that with willy nilly bullshit. When we drop, we are either Marines of this battlegroup, or we are dead."

"Well, I could give a damn about hate anymore. I'm done with that, but we already had that conversation. I'm a hired hand, nothing more, and I'm good at what I do." He turns, heading towards the door. He's not ready for the course just yet, and she knows well that he has duty coming soon. He turns his head, watching her down the line of his shoulder. "Whatever happens, though, let's just make sure it's worth it, eh? Look on the bright side, though, either way we just got ourselves an option of dying with our boots on, and dying on one of the colonies. Beats explosive decompression."

"Marines aren't hired hands, Sergeant Sondray. We're ass kicking bastards and bitches with the will and the firepower to enforce the bent knee of anyone we want. Oorah." Vandenberg smirks at him as she says it. "And yeah, that's why I don't mind heading down there. Die staring at the sun or die in the cold black. I'll take the dirt. Catch you later, Sergeant."

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