PHD #043: EVENT - Clankers - Blackout
Clankers — Blackout
Summary: It's not just ghoulies and ghosties that go bump in the night. Centurions do it too.
Date: 11 Apr 2041 AE
Related Logs: Hammer and Anvil, The Heart of It All, more to come.
Krysesi Rachel Tisiphone NPC Polaris 
Sickbay — Deck 10 — Battlestar Cerberus
Being able to accommodate combat casualties requires room, and the Sickbay has it. Beds line each side of the room with privacy curtains strung up and readily available. Large vaulted lockers hold access to the supplies at the far end of the area. Nearer the front, a Petty Officer sits ready to dispense simple items like ibuprofen and aspirin. Further to the rear is an area prepped twenty-four hours a day for emergency surgery. To the side are a set of double doors that lead to the Recovery Ward where patients can recuperate.
PHD #43

1430 hours and all's well in Sickbay, this vaulted room has been blessedly quiet since the horrors of Warday. Most of those casualties have trickled out of this place — dead or alive — over the past couple of weeks, and the injuries this place has seen (with a few major exceptions, of course) have largely been confined to relatively run-of-the-mill stuff: coughs, colds, and the odd broken bone. Nurses and orderlies mill about, their uniforms melding into each other as they flit about the curtains and beds. Doctors and their patients converse in hushed voices, the latter usually sounding more worried than the former.

A day in the life of Cerberus.

It's either dying friends or Unavoidable Appointments(tm) that gets Tisiphone to Sickbay. The latter seems more likely in this instance — for she's standing in the open hatch, half-in, half-out, smoking the last dregs of her cigarette with championship stalling technique, exhaling out toward the corridor.

Dr. Kildren is just moving from bed to bed, checking charts on the stable patients and signing off on her rounds as most are mercifully able to speak and seem to be doing just fine. So there are a few minor illnesses, the effects of living in such confined quarters, so there are a few sprains from overeager pyramid players, but nothing that requires too much work.

It's been some time since she found herself on the Cerberus, and it took Krysesi a bit of time to adjust. However, she's finally back to her routine of dealing with things too mundane for the doctors to bother. Really, the only thing that changed is that she's wearing green again.

<FS3> Krysesi rolls Alertness: Bad Failure.
<FS3> Tisiphone rolls Alertness: Success.
<FS3> Rachel rolls Alertness: Good Success.

Rachel pauses in between two beds, an odd expression crossing her face as she strains to hear something. Closing her eyes she stands perfectly still before turning sharply towards the door, concern evident.

The last drag off Tisiphone's cigarette is nursed almost plaintively before she drops it to the deck and crushes it out underboot. Pilots. Doing their part to keep the clean-up crews busy. She enters the Sickbay with a hesitant step, pale eyes flickering around as she steps in, as if she expects the walls to grow needles and restraints any second.

Krysesi is busy chatting up her patient while taking her blood pressure. With her attention in two places at once, she's totally not paying attention to anything else around her.

Ask any engineer where the nerve centers of a battlestar can be found and Sickbay will be on that list — usually just after CIC and Main Engineering. So much in here depends on the uninterrupted supply of power to function, from the dialysis machines standing dormant by the bunks to the defibrillator paddles hanging limply inside their plastic mounts, that any interruption would have potentially disastrous and life-changing consequences. Small wonder, then, that it's here that the ship's electrical wiring systems are most densely concentrated — systems which, despite being backed up not once but twice, have started to flicker and fritz. The lights hum, buzz — and then, suddenly, cut off entirely.

Rachel turns just in time to catch Tisiphone's cigarette maneuver and says a touch tersely, "Not in here." She then turns her gaze back to the door, straining to listen again. It is then that the electrical gives out and her breath ctaches in her throat before she grabs her pocket light from her labcoat and yells out, "Everyone quiet!" She's using the light to guide her way to the most severe patient, though fortunately, no one is on life support right now.

There's a city-dweller's version of darkness, which is nothing compared to a country-dweller's version of darkness — which is, in turn, nothing compared to the actual /absense of light/, the feeling of your pupils stretching and straining and gaining zero purchase. "Oh, frak /me/," Tisiphone mutters, her steps scuffing on the floor as she turns in a circle. "I'm lighting my lighter!" she calls into the darkness, before digging it out and scritching the flame to life.

"The frak?" Elis may not have been paying attention, but she notices little things like not being able to see. She fumbles with her belt in the dark for a moment, then the piercing blue-white beam of a tactical flashlight appears from her hand. Doc Kildren seems to have the patients, and given her time spent with the marines, Krysesi is more concerned with the question of "What the frak just happened to our lights?"

Easier said than done, Dr Kildren — for though Cerberus was supposed to become the new flagship of the Ninth Fleet, nobody told the contractors who built her to expedite delivery of those fluorescing floor-strips found on every people-carrier to date. A rising chorus of "Oh gods!" and "Godsdammit!" and "I paid my frakking taxes for this engineering horseshit?!" echoes oddly in the cavernous room, lent more urgency than usual by the makeshift torches that sweep this way and that way and this way — illuminating nothing save flashes of trepidation and irritation on the faces of the room's personnel.

"Somebody call up to CIC," comes a hesitant suggestion from one of the young orderlies in the far corner, her blonde hair shimmering silver when blasted by Krysesi's bulb for the half-second it lingers there.

"Line's dead," calls the doctor who's just attempted to do just that. "This better not be like the galley again, because if that godsdamned chef was cooking steak in here…"

And then everybody hears it: something that sounds like a pneumatic drill, or more specifically, a pneumatic drill on the fritz. It's erratic. And then, near the hatch where the bald pilot is standing, there comes a gentle thump.

Dr. Kildren is trying to flash her pocket light around, but it's meant for illuminating eyes and throats, not a rooom on the whole. She tries to stay focused as the drilling gets louder before turning to where she hears the thump.

Krysesi's left hand snaps downward at that sound. Especially with what's happened over the past several weeks, it's best not to take any chances with this. "Move," the petite corpsman commands as she pushes on one of the doctors to get him out of her way. Her sidearm is out, and her right hand is clipping the light onto it as she makes her way toward the thump.

"If it was like the galley, we'd all be on fire already," comes Tisiphone's (char-)black humour as she holds her lighter out at arm's length. She's looking along the floorboards as well, seeming to have expected some manner of failsafe lighting for Times Like This. The erratic drill-noises bring her attention around; at the THUMP, she steps forward toward the door, starting to look around it for some manner of emergency release. She slaps the door twice — hey, we're in here, and not dead yet — before going back to her search.

Tisiphone's little fist should by rights do very little against a thickly armored wall — but oddly enough, the impact of her knuckles generates a hollow ring that hangs in the air for a little too long. There's silence as faces turn towards the commotion —

Silence broken by two bumps in reply, as if to say "By your command…"

What things go bump in the night? Ghoulies, sure, and ghosties too, and even nasty long-leggedy beasties — but the author of that little snippet of doggerel grew up on Picon some five centuries ago, and certainly could never have envisioned the chrome-silver horrors that now burst through the structurally-weakened walls. Light skitters off their bullet-like heads, whose shutters open to reveal a sinister red light that glows and glows and glows —


As one, four Centurions explode into motion, sending four blistering volleys of bullets smashing into the assembled crowd.

<FS3> Rachel rolls Alertness: Success.
<FS3> Krysesi rolls Alertness: Success.
<FS3> Tisiphone rolls Alertness: Success.

Rachel is unarmed - like she carries a weapon in sickbay. She does the only thing she can think to, ducks for cover underneath one of the metal beds.

This is not my beautiful maintenance crew. Tisiphone's caught flat-footed for what feels like the longest heartbeat ever before she tries to dive for the nearest cover — the clerk's desk.

Krysesi ducks down behind one of the beds to dodge the hail of bullets. She clicks her light off for now, not wanting to give away her position to the bulletheads quite yet.

Streams of molten lead fly forward into the crowd, propelled forward at truly absurd velocities by whatever daemonic mechanism has been built into these machines with bullets for heads. If anybody's looking, they're illuminated by the glow of their never-ending guns, and it seems they've gone to great pains to make themselves appear as fearsome as possible: their metal carapaces have melted and reformed where they've hugged the ship's pipes, charred a godsawful black where titanium (or whatever else that is) met heat; their legs and feet are scored by much the same, silver 'boots' turned a sickly grey like they'd been held to a fire.

The light shows something else, too: the bodies that have started to drop. The doctor at the phone collapses to the ground in a gurgle of pain, his hand literally severed off by the stream of bullets. The bulkhead behind him is peppered with fire — just for good measure. The orderly who runs to treat him is blasted backwards as four projectiles converge on his chest, shredding it and the clothes surrounding it entirely. And in the roar of battle and screams and shouts the Centurions remain silent, three turning for the hatch while the fourth covers their escape — or advance.

Among the things that can be said for certain is this, sharp pain and warm wetness are never good things to be felt during a firefight. Krysesi didn't duck fast enough, and managed to take one of the stray rounds to her stomach. Biting her lip through the pain, she pops up enough to squeeze off a round or two at the nearest target.

Tisiphone can't help but look at what's downgrading the fleshy contents of Sickbay to meat — it's not like the clerk's desk was meant to serve as proper coverage in a firefight. "There a gun-closet in here?" she shouts over the chaos, trying to edge over to hide behind the desk's shelves. Surely the paperclips and stamps will protect her.

Rachel is still tcked away beneath the bed, lookign around as the spray hits the walls around her. "Frak, it's in the hallway!" she answers as loudly as she can.

What the doctor said. But just in case Tisiphone needed more proof: "Godsdammit, baldie, you think we'd keep live rounds in POG heaven?" A gruff patient has taken cover beside the pilot, and he now barks out that pained reply. "Got an armory down the hall to starboard with an armed frakking guard. You're going to cover me when we go, and that's an order, and I don't give a frak if you're the admiral himself." Can you blame him for the gender confusion in this state of affairs? "We break for it on three. One — two — "

The clanging of bullets against bulkheads interrupts his count. There are other sounds, here, too. You know that bit about there not being terribly many wounded soldiers for the brave souls in Sickbay to treat? Judging from the sickening outburst of screams and moans coming from doctors and patients alike, that state of affairs has just changed for the worse. "Medic!" "Doctor, help!" "Heads down, heads down!"

And from the gruff patient: "Three! Up and over, now now now!"

Rachel is looking around, mostly listening around actually, looking for the worst of the damage. Maybe she can make it to Krys while the ditraction is happening? Sge takes her chances it seems.

"Cover you with what, my frakking /cast/?!" Tisiphone shouts back at the gruff patient. "What the-" There's no time, though — he's already counting down. There's a desk lamp spilled off the desk in all the fighting; she grabs it up, pops her head over the desk, and throws the lamp as the man makes his dash for the armory.

Krysesi hears someone counting and then sees the gruff patient jump up. Taking her right hand away from her stomach, she grips the bed and pushes up, trying to at least buy him time to do whatever the frak crazy thing he was going to try to do. She didn't hear anything more than the counting, but she's been around Marines enough to know that they're like anti-personnel mines: point at enemy and keep clear.

<FS3> Tisiphone rolls Reactive: Good Success.

<Intercom> Cilusia says, "Now hear this: Intruders aboard! Repeat, intruders aboard! Cylons have breached the repair bay! Repeat, Cylons have breached the repair bay! MPs please respond!"

<Intercom> Attention! Action Stations! Set Condition One throughout the ship.

"Marines on me!" shouts the thick-chested Marine now barreling down the open space between the desk and the last remaining Centurion, tattooed fists clenched, arms spread wide — and leaping into the air, leading with his fist, he slams the entire weight of his two-hundred-forty-five-pound body into the last remaining Cylon soldier. Like passionate lovers they topple to the floor, where they grapple for something like five or six seconds — a battle that ends when he's aerated like a lawn by the machine gun the Centurion has jammed directly into his chest and abdomen. But the thing's on the ground, now, and flailing —

"Get some frakking guns," the man hisses — and breathes his last.

As for the thing's three allies? Gods only know where they've got to.

Rachel makes a run for Krys as things heat up, looking about for the other toasters.

Krysesi isn't going to wait around for them to return with only a popgun, that's for frakking sure. First things first, though. She unsnaps her taclight and clicks it on, quickly scanning around the medbay for anything excessively shiny. Noticing Rachel approaching her side, she clenches her teeth and says, "Forgot to duck, doc. Tie me up quick so I can get to the armory." She'd do it herself, but she really doesn't want to know how badly she got shot. Not until after the crisis.

The Marine grapples the last visible Centurion, and Tisiphone pushes up from behind the desk, already starting for the armory when the man is punched full of messy, messy holes. She sort of skitter-flinches around /behind/ the thing, trying to use the Marine's hard-won distraction. Down the hall to starboard.

Tisiphone isn't spotted by the Centurion on the deck, whose glowing eyeslit has been temporarily blinded by a dead man's perforated torso. The thing fires wildly from the ground as its other hand pushes the body off of it, trying its damnedest to find footing on the blood-slick floor.

<Intercom> Oberlin says, "All hands, hostile contacts reported aboardship. Adhere to Boarding Protocol Constellation Deacon-Niner."

"Considering the fact your the only one armed…" Rachel begins dryly as she ducks beside Krysesi and goes to take a better look at the wound before applying pressure with one hand and reaching the other up to grab anything she can use to mop up the blood for now.

Tisiphone's digging out her lighter again as she bolts down the starboard corridor toward the armory, unless the corridors have been more properly-appointed with emergency lighting than Sickbay was. As an officer, she's privy to the codes to crack open the basic weapons caches, at least.

Krysesi frowns as she notices the thing squirming. "Should have brought frakking explosives," she mutters to herself. Reaching down with her right hand to take over pressing on her wound, she declares, "This is not a defensible position, we have nothing to defend ourselves with." She then makes her way toward the door. Once she has something that can kill toasters, she can pause to tie the bandage in place, but if that thing gets up while they're still in here…

Bullets slam into the bed behind which Rachel has taken cover, causing it to fall over — but deflecting quite fortuitously the lead meant for the doctor's heart. The rest skitter up past the seriously-wounded medic and over the heads of what doctors remain standing before shattering light bulbs on the ceiling. But now, standing as it is, the Centurion has good line of sight as it fires and fires and fires again…

In the corridor, Tisiphone does indeed find those fluorescent strips that would have come in handy inside Sickbay — but the sight they illuminate is horrific indeed. Bodies are strewn across the ground — living and dead alike, over which corpses she needs to hop in order to get to the locker in question. The faint CLANK-CLANK of Cylon footsteps echoes loudly in the corridors above, audible even over the groans of the wounded.and dying. As for the locker itself? It's already been opened, and one of the Marines who'd been standing guard inside is even kind enough to chuck the bald girl a pistol. "Hope you remember basic," she grunts. "Sitrep on Sickbay. Now."

<Intercom> Polaris says, "Now hear this! Intruders have breached Sickbay, say again, intruders have breached Sickbay and are proceeding up the stairwell to — “ gurgleCLANK. CLANK. CLANK.static

"shit, yeah," Rachel answers. She's a doctor, combat is not her specialty, and she'll take a broken limb or emergency open-frakking-heart surgery over this anyday. When the bewd goes flying though she's left without cover, and immediately looks for new, forcing Krys' hand more firmly against the wound. That does not look good.

Sweet blessed — no, make that unholy — illumination. Tisiphone catches the pistol between her good arm and her chest and is giving it an awkward, off-hand once-over as sitrep is demanded. There's a beat of blank stare — she's a pilot, not a soldier, Jim — before she says, "They came in through the wall. Four, from what I saw. One's down. Maybe two of us still standing." Fake it 'til you make it, baby.

Krysesi ducks down a bit, holding the bandage tight with one hand while continuing to fire her pistol with the other. They missed their window of opportunity to escape, but now that a message has gone out, perhaps she can buy the Marines some time to get here.

"Just one in there?" snaps the first Marine's partner. "Right. I've got point, Corporal, you watch the corridor just in case those bulletheads choose to double back. Baldie — " A common appellation amongst the Marine Corps, it seems. "Baldie, try not to shoot us, yeah? Go, go!"

And the Centurion inside Sickbay? Still shooting, silent and implacable save for the humming of its eye.

More nurses and orderlies crumple as the Centurion rakes the other side of the room, standing alone and tall in the sparking darkness like some ancient monolith of myth. Its burnt armor creaks as it pivots back to the other side, its machine gun blazing.

"Got it." If she wasn't shooting off-handed, Tisiphone would probably rise to defensiveness, even in all this mess; as it stands, it's just a tense acknowledgement. "On your- six." Gun up, the best firing stance she can muster, praying the Centurion hasn't finished aerating the defenders.

Right, so the cover is gone, and Rachel isn't exactly ready for that. Unarmed, defenseless and looking for another object to duck behind as the others seem to take the first of the spray. She heads for the next bed down the line, yelling, "Come on!"

There can't be that many more people alive in here, except for those who managed to take cover in the recovery ward. She's not quite as big and brave as the thoroughly-ventilated marine who bought Tis time to get out, but Krysesi isn't going to let the centurion just mow down anymore unarmed patients; at least, not while she's still standing. Rather than taking cover again, she clicks her taclight back on and continues to fire, trying to see if Centurions are able to be distracted. Or pissed off.

<Intercom> Polaris says, "Now hear this! Centurions advancing down from Deck 6! They took the Marine berthings completely by surprise! Casualties high and we're trapped inside — and — oh, frak, frak, frak, I think they got our air supply — request an engineering team now before — DAMMIT, Vonn, the OTHER manual release —"

The marines pay less respect to the dead and dying than Tisiphone, and their boots squelch loudly against still-warm flesh as they pound down the corridor. "Corporal, hatch-right!" shouts the man. "Baldie, hatch-left!" For his part, he crouches down by his partner's legs near the door, taking careful aim before loosing that familiar triple-tap.

Rachel stumbles as she takes a hit to her chest. No internal organs hit though, thank the gods, and she's still moving. Thank the gods also that their aim appears to be complete and utter crap. She stumbles, but ducks under the next bed, the last in the line of them just as help arrives.

They're /people/. Or… recently /were/ people. They're not for /stepping on/. Tisiphone stumbles a bit, trying to quick-step through the combat detritus to keep up to the Marines. Hatch-left? Over to the left side of the hatch she moves, lips pressed together in a bloodless line as she lines up her shot.

Krysesi sees the cavalry arrive, but isn't about to back down yet. Keeping the target backlit for the fireteam, she pulls the trigger again, trying to keep the toaster distracted so the Marines can kill it.

Rachel pauses, taking a deep breath a she presses down on her own wound. Just one minute, she just needs one minute to get herself together as the bullets fly aroudn her.

"Get the frak behind cover, baldie!" the female corporal screams as she looses another burst with a prayer and a frown. The Marines' bullets, armor-piercing though they are, wick off of the Centurion's armor like water off the feathers of a duck; so too do Krysesi's carefully-placed shots. Only the joint of its right arm gets hit — and ignored, as with a creak and a squeal it readjusts its aim and continues its merciless onslaught against the trained medical personnel in Sickbay. The Marines behind it are completely ignored, as is the really angry bald pilot. People who know how to shoot things are a dime a dozen. People who know how to cure those folks who've been shot? Not so much.

People like Rachel, who, having ducked under the next bed finds it already occupied by a trembling young girl — the orderly who'd suggested calling up to CIC earlier. Her hands are bloody and sticky, and the reason soon becomes clear even in the dim lighting: they've been doing their damnedest to hold in the intestines now spilling out from her shredded gut. Her beautiful green eyes are glassy but blinking.

<Intercom> Polaris says, "Godsfrakkingdammit, engineering, where the frak is that shitfrakked team? Get the frak up here before — oh, oh shit. oh shit, shit shit — somebody patch that fissure — duct tape for all I frakking care! — clang"

Off-hand shooting. How hard can it be? Tisiphone plinks away uselessly, flinching a bit at the roar of the rifles directly to her right. "Uh- yeah! Taking cover!" she replies to the Marine, seeming to belatedly realize she /wasn't/. Maybe there's a reason those nice CMC fellows are crouching. She follows suit before lining up another shot.

Krysesi isn't going to stop trying. She's not a trauma surgeon; a trained monkey could do her job, you just have to train it for a few years. Thus, she tries to keep the toaster occupied as best as she can, since a flying leap from a five foot beanpole probably won't have the same effect as the one that occurred earlier.

<Intercom> Polaris says, "Now hear this — four — in the Viper — manufacturing — dropped in right on top of — " The voice gasps weakly for breath. "Opening — opening the manual vent. Can't hold — can't — " A harsh and bloody cough. "Frak them up good for us.""

Rachel turns towards the orderly, immediately setting to work. Shock is a good thing, and the blinkning of those eyes tells Rachel that the girl is in it and can hang on a bit. On her knees, her own blood wetting her shoulder more slowly, she begins to try and clamp the wound, all the entrails back inside of her. It's just triage medicine, it will need far more later.

CLANK — ping! — CLANK — pingping! — and then, miraculously, the Centurion staggers forward, impaled in head, neck, and chest by the concentrated fire of the two young Marines, not that either looks terribly young at this juncture in their lives. Their faces are stained with sweat mixed in with grime, and the assault rifles in their hands send shell casings up past their hands to clink lightly onto the floor beneath —

Yet still the Centurion doesn't fall, its red eye unblinking as it goes about its deadly business. The thing whirrs and twitches as it focuses on what looks to be the process of treatment going on right before it — and, well, it just can't let that happen. Concentrated fire traces a glowing yellow path towards the doctor and the orderly.

Rachel continues her work, ducking beneath the bed still, but her eyes occasionally rising up, trying to keep panic from fully seting in and taking over as the Centurion moves forward. Finally she jsut mumbles, "Frak…" and ducks completely, trying to cover hereslf fully before the guns sart up again.

Is it better to miss entirely or hit with seemingly zero effect? Tisiphone's eyes narrow with frustrated concentration as she adjusts her firing stance. The cast has been on for a month, now; she's trying to force the tremors out of the weakened limb as she resights for another shot.

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Krysesi:Athletic-50 vs Cylon:8
< Krysesi: Success Cylon: Success
< Net Result: DRAW

Krysesi isn't going to let that happen if she can help it. There's a gurney between her and the cylon, so she kicks the wheel locks off and throws her weight against it bowling for bullethead. Come on strike!

Tisiphone's bullet and Krysesi's gurney slam into the Centurion's wounded right arm, smashing into its gun-hand with such force that the bullets aimed for Rachel end up somewhere between the port bulkhead and the ceiling. And then the Marines finish up with a cascade of perfectly-aimed shots, their rifles pulsing an angry yellow as six bullets in all punch through the thing's burnt armor. It sways — sways — and, still firing, topples to the ground, where its eye blinks twice with the force of its hate before winking out entirely.

Silence falls like a hammer onto an anvil.

Just another day in the life.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License