Memoir: Crossing of Paths

The first meeting of PO2 Carmen Beringer and LTJG Solstice 'Shakes' Vasco in the Black Country of Tauron a week or so after Warday.

The Cylons were starting to swarm everywhere, even the less populated areas. The raptor was hidden enough and the bunker the group had taken up in was well stocked. Watches were set to make sure they were not discovered and keep radiation at a low for the members within the bunker.

On her own watch, Solstice is huddles up against one of the taller trees, keeping her eyes moving to stop them from getting tunnel vision within the darkness. She shifts, her flight-suit worn down but it had only been several days since they had located the bunker and gotten people situated inside. Her soma braid is run over with a finger and her sidearm is kept in hand as she shifts. There was no noise, not with the radiation. Nothing had lived through it, it was lucky they had.

She rolls her weight to her shoulder and looks the other way about the trunk.

It's been days, days of hiding out, days of running. Originally Carmen had fallen in with a small group of survivors, civilians that only lasted a few days, and then she was on her own. Which, in truth, has been easier, especially when it comes to making supplies last and moving quickly and out of sight. Now she's here, a small, crude looking device in hand that gives off the occasional quiet beep, but no matter how quiet it is, in the silence that sound carries. As do the her footsteps as she moves through the brush, no notion of the person propped against the tree nearby.

The crunch of anothers' movement is enough to still her further and steal her breath. Solstice narrows her gaze and switches the safety off her gun. The beep causes her to tense further and the ECO looks about to see if anything else was nearby as she rolls to her hip and uses the tree as a shield before she starts to push herself up slowly - as silently as she can. The sidearm in hand is a small pistol, but it will do the trick if she aims right.

She narrows her gaze and breathes out, extending her hand with the gun as she peeks about the tree.

Carmen is armed as well, but at present the sidearm isn't in her hand, it's tucked into her belt as she prowls quietly through the trees, unaware of the person so near. Beep. Beep. Bee- Fizzle. "Frak," she hisses at the device, slapping the side of it lightly. As if that will coax the thing into working again. It doesn't. "Fraking frak!"

A side step out from behind the tree and the somewhat pale Solstice is now behind Carmen, gun lifted and leveled as she holds is straight out with both hands. "Do not move." she advises in a low voice. Her head bows, lining up to keep the possible enemy before her. Breathing heavily, she gazes upon the woman and starts to relax some. "Who are you?" She asks, not taking chances.

The ECO shifts on her feet, the long nights and radiation wearing on her.

There is that jolt, that feeling right in the pit of the stomach when one realizes that they've just made a huge mistake. Carmen experiences that as she hears the voice behind her, going as still as a statue when that demand is made. She resists the urge to turn and look over her shoulder, heartbeat thundering in her ears so loudly that she almost doesn't hear the question as it's asked. "Carmen," she answers in a low voice. "Who're you?"

Watching the woman's back, she keeps the gun pointed at her. Solstice steps forward slowly, one foot in front of the other. "Lieutenant JG Solstice Vasco." she offers in that formal and stoic tone. Her gaze flits about, checking for anyone else as she rounds about slowly so she can get a look at her in the darkness. "Carmen..with no name or station. Where did you come from and how have you survived through the radiation?" She asks, a wet curl clinging to her face.

"PO 2nd Class Carmen Beringer," she answers, turning her head just slightly, only enough that she can try to get a peripheral look at the woman behind her. "Found some supplies that have gotten me this far. Now I'm trying to find more. Found you instead."

"Found me you did." Solstice repeats. "PO…where were you posted?" She asks, brows drawing down at how the woman could have gotten this far. She comes up closer to her. "Hands up slowly, drop what you have." She instructs. The ECO breathes in and out, trying to keep her breath steady. Despite having the upper her hand, her hold on the gun is shaky at best.

"Was found by you, then," Carmen answers sounding only mildly annoyed as she extends the hand holding the device, tossing it to the ground as gingerly as she can. When it hits the ground, that hand raises slowly into the air again. "Tau Garrison. Was off base when the attack happened, was with others until yesterday, but they're dead now."

"How did you manage to live and the others not?" Her tone is skeptical at best. Solstice comes up closer, patting down the woman's sides one at a time. "And what did you do at the Garrison, I didn't see you there." Says Solstice, blinking past some momentary weakness. She reaches down to disarm the other woman, stepping back as she slides the fire arm into her empty holster. "Keep might pass the test." She says.

"I didn't get shot." The words are slightly gruff, ire rising as she is disarmed. Not that it's enough to have her attempt anything foolish. "I'm an engineer. Transferred to Tau Garrison almost a year ago. What else do you want to know?"

"Anything that will save my ass." Solstice says. "People are going to turn on each other, I want to know you are of a level head before I give you safe haven." She states, "Desperation causes people to do strange things.." The darkness is playing tricks on her but she feels the fuzzy sense of heat rush over her. She breathes, wooziness overwhelming Shakes and she side steps to keep upright. "You can even tell me when you were born, where…parents if you like." She doesn't give away the bunker yet.

"Had one guy go funny a couple days in, but he ate his own gun in the end," Carmen remarks as she starts to lower her hands to her sides slowly. "Born on Gemenon, both my parents were too. They're dead though, car accident." She turns just a little more, or tries to in any case, to get a better look at Solstice. "Don't go falling over and shooting me."

"I won't do anything I don't plan to do." She assures the woman. Solstice steps back around and towards the entrance to the bunker. "This way, slowly." She keeps her voice hushed. "Pick that up off the ground, we don't like to leave a presence…" She explains. We. Shakes motions the woman over, lowering the gun slowly and lifting a woven wall of dried limbs and grass to hide the entrance. "Here.." She explains and motions to the upper entrance to the bunker. "You first…"

"Good to know," Carmen mutters quietly, taking one step forward so that she can lean down and nab the device from the ground, carefully dusting off any clinging debris. She straightens and turns, moving ahead of Solstice as directed. "How long have you been here?"

Clicking the safety on, she hooks her gun into the back of her belt and stuffing her hair back behind her ear. Solstice motions her in and as she enters, she pulls the framework over the entrance. "A week or so..managed to get away from the Garrison with a Raptor, but had to land, forced down by the Cylons. We followed the tracker to this pilot is a native." She explains and secures the cover and waits for the other woman to take the latter down into the earth and the metal supports that start to show themselves.
"That's what I've been following," Carmen informs her, holding up the device and giving it a little wiggle. The thing is stuffed into her pocket before she takes hold of a metal rung and begins to descend the ladder. "Just you and your pilot?" she asks, moving carefully downward.

"A few others too, mostly CMC, couple of civilians we ran into before the Cylons tagged us out of the skies." She says and waits for Carmen to lower down. Solstice grasps the ladder and swings herself about, lowering hand over hand till she reaches the ground and stands next to the other woman. "Fall out here. I am not sure what our move will be. We can't lift off." She explains in regards to the Cylons. "But please." she motions to the heavy metal door in front of them before stepping towards it and knocking a rhythm before pulling it open.

"They're everywhere out there, digging in for a while might be better," Carmen remarks as she steps towards that metal door. "Making sure they don't find us." She rakes a hand through her hair, grimy from days on the run without stopping to wash her hair.

"Fresh water inside," Solstice takes a look back at her and then motions her int o the sparse but efficient hold out. There is a man standing to the side and he merely nods as the anti room is set up for a few people. "I got this..just go ahead." She motions him on. Her face seems pale in the lantern lit light, very drab and dreary.

She moves to check over Carmen's gun and then hands it back to her. The ECO undoes part of her flight suit and places a hand to the wall, breathing in deeply and closing her eyes.

Carmen looks askance at the man in the room, but aside from a nod she doesn't speak any sort of greeting to him. By the lantern light, she doesn't look much better that Solstice, pale as a sheet with dark circles under her eyes that suggests she's not slept in a while. When the gun is offered to her, she takes it carefully and tucks it back into her belt, lacking a proper holster to keep it in at the moment. "How long will the supplies last?"

"We have to recalculate.." Solstice says. "For now, we are on as little as we can get by..just to stretch it out as long as possible, but I would say a half a year at most with the numbers we have. We have to start considering other options or making raids." She draws away from the wall and starts to shuck off the flight suit that helps give her some form of camouflage outside. "I need to rest for now. There is water allowed in the main room." She motions down the hall. "Just to the right, this place isn't too big…"

There's a moment where Carmen just draws a breath, holding it a few beats before it's released, and when it does her shoulders seem to sag a bit. Just from the relief of being able to drink water, to eat, and to close her eyes for at least a few minutes without having to worry. It's the little things. "Right," she answers, looking over at Solstice. "Thanks."

"Just be glad I didn't shoot you…I am an ECO, not a marine. Bit jumpy…" Solstice smirks a bit and the woman nods her head, the faint smile relinquishing its hold. She rolls her shoulder and starts to extract herself from the suit. "More than enough cots.." She states, "Get some rest." She rubs a hand over her face and checks the large rifle by the door before she sits down in the antechamber, her eyes following the other woman slowly.

"I'll count that among my blessings," Carmen remarks with a weary twist of her lips that approximates a smile. "Along with cots and the ability to sleep." And a number of other things. Rather than go for one of those cots though, she trudges for a chair and drops into it, head bowing as she rubs at the back of her neck with one hand. After a moment's discomfort she sits up again and digs in her pocket, pulling out that device again, dropping it on a table.

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