PHD #240: EVENT - Day Trip to Tauron
Day Trip to Tauron
Summary: Niobe and her pilot take a jaunt to see the sights, irradiated and otherwise.
Date: 24 Oct 2041 AE
Related Logs: None in particularly, the follow-up recon stuff in general
Niobe NPC 
The final frontier.
Post-Holocaust Day: #240

Setting. One Colonial Fleet Raptor. The choice ride for any weekend getaways, or reconnaissance missions, that require a jump drive. The destination today: Tauron. Formerly, home of a great deal of Colonial agriculture and heavy industry. As of last report, bombed to seven hells. Well, so were all the other colonies. It's time for a second look. What has befallen Tauron in the months since the attacks, and how fast and hard the Cylons still hold it remains to be seen. Tonight. Said Raptor has just flown out of Battlestar Cerberus herself and clearance has been given by CIC for her to jump. It'll take a series to hyperlight skips to reach Tauron, but no difficulty in getting their is expected. Getting out…well, time will tell how difficult that is.

Poised and ready with the DRADIS, Pickle's eyes are looking for any blips or bleeps betraying any Cylon's that would make this trip extra short. Skipped like a stone from the Battlestar to Tauron has had the ECO pinging her way through to make sure that 'no difficulty expected' is kept that way. "You know, I think someone had a joke about jumps like this. I don't remember the middle part, but it ended with something about someone's mom." Though Niobe's eyes are all focused on her work, that doesn't stop her mouth from running. "It's funnier with the whole story."

Mouse has done this before. Though, somehow she never gets any less nervous. Where's her piece of cheese when she needs it? She wrinkles her nose a little. Mouse is a pretty quiet sort, thoughtful and observant. She looks to Niobe and smiles a little. Her call name is well earned. Does she have big ears somewhere? "Probably something about bouncing," She doesn't seem to enjoy the hop-skip style of jumping, but she seems to be getting better with practice. "Or - something," She considers. Her brown eyes rove over the controls and back. "So far so good?"

After a series of hop-skip jumps, the Raptor reaches Tauron. Or its vicinity, at least. They jump in some distance from the planet, in case there are Cylon present. No blips are immediately detected on Niobe's passive DRADIS system, however. At least, none that would suggest any sort of space craft - Cylon or Colonial - in the area. What they are faced with, as they head closer to the planet, is debris. A frak-ton of it. Where the orbit around most of the nuked colonies have been picked clean by the Cylons, Tauron is still filled with the hulks of destroyed ships. Passenger freighters, mostly, blasted to various sorts of smithereens. Likely civilians who attempted to flee the planet's surface after the attacks. They did not get far. But their remains litter Tauron space. It'll be a mess to navigate through all that.

Mouse and Pickle, they do seem a well-matched pair. As the near the edges of Tauron, Pickle leans tilts her head a little to the side in concentration. Though there's no toasters, there certainly is debris. "Woah, Mousey. No blips, but we're going to have to do some fancy flying to get through all this." Yes, she did say 'we' despite the fact that Mouse will be doing all the flying. Tapping a few things here and there, she picks a clean course that should keep them clear of all the biggest and most dangerous remains. "I doubt that your mom joke ended like this, for some reason." It's a sobering sight.

Not brave enough to land on Tauron just yet. Mouse might be brave when pushed, but - there's a cautious style to her flying. Pause, think, fly. It's almost deliberate, like a mouse skittering from point to point with little bursts of speed. She frowns. "Yeah," She doesn't disagree. "Hopefully without explosions," Mom jokes with explosions are just not classy at all. She takes a deep breath. It saddens her, to see the remains of civilian crafts. All they wanted to do was flee… But she swallows it, a skill all too vital these days. It takes some doing, but her style pays off. Move, pause, move. They clear the debris without wounding the Raptor. Mouse sighs, relieved for now. "There we go."

Thanks to Niobe's on-the-fly navigation, and Mouse's workmanlike flying, the Raptor makes it through the debris field unscathed. Still no sign of Cylons. Either as contact ghosts on passive DRADIS or visual. You'll need a closer look in low orbit to say for sure, but for now (excepting the debris still present) this place looks much like Aerilon and Sagittaron before it. Still nuked to hell, but no Cylons home.

At least they're through all that unpleasantness for now. Not that it may not haunt them later - it always seems to - or that there isn't more unpleasantness waiting for them once they're closer to the atmosphere. "Or at least not the explosions that involve fire and shrapnel. If you know what I mean." Pickle, it must be said, is not classy. As Mouse steers them clear through the war torn airways, Pickle taps a bit more on the computers to find a good place to get a closer look, directing Mouse's movements as they go. "Good flying, Mouse."

Phew. "Guess we should see if we can get a hair closer?" Mouse frowns. "I guess we can move into low orbit," She chews her lower lip. Some chapstick factory probably makes a mint off the 'mouse. "At least then we can kind of get an idea of what's hitting the surface," She looks to the ECO and smiles a little. She takes a deep breath. "Maybe get a picture or two." That's a lot of talking for a Mouse to do in a moment. She nods and blushes a little at the compliment. There's a slight smile. "Thanks."

Their current flight path takes them over the northern region of the western continent. Colloquially called 'The Black County.' A name which fits it even better now than it did before the bombs fell. That region is nuked to the seven hells and back. Massive radiation readings on the ECM. No traces of survivors there, or much living at all beyond cockroaches. Perhaps even those have skittered off for less irradiated pastures.

As Mouse takes the Raptor closer to the surface, Pickle keeps her eyes on her screens. The radiation is, as expected, through the roof and everything as far as they can see so far has been blown to smithereens. To the west, it just seems like more of the same, however, she can see that in the opposite direction there's at least less of that. "Good idea. Seems like the west's all the same and bad news for that. We might get a better picture east. Or at least something not quite so frakked up."

Mouse bites her lip in concentration. She's almost wanting to quietly whisper to he Raptor. Steady, there we go. She glances around, almost habitually. "Geez. This place should glow at night huh?" There's a sadness as her eyebrows lift. "You want to go east then?" She'll gently nudge them east, moving carefully - periodically pausing for readings, pictures and to be mindful of any unfriendlies - be they debris, disgruntled Cylons or what have you. She's concentrating though and might be a touch quiet.

As they move farther away from the irradiated hellscape that is the northern part of the western continent, things look slightly less grim. The planet's cities were all heavily hit by nuclear activity - including the planet's capital, Minos - but there are still spots in the countryside of the province of Minoa itself that still show signs of plant and animal life. And, perhaps, hope that there might still be humans down there. There are also signs of 'new construction' scattered in this region. Sagittaron and Aerilon both boasted Cylon 'bases' built after the attacks. The Raptor is still too high to ID these structures for certain as the same, but it might be seen as likely.

As Mouse guides them easterly, Pickle keeps her eyes peeled for any sign of life - friend or foe. As far as she can tell there's no Cylons for now, but that doesn't mean they're not lurking some place. As they pass the bombed out shell of Minos and pass into the countryside of Minoa, there seems to be some hope. "See anything up front, Mouse?"

Mouse is keeping her eyes peeled too, though it's tough to divide her attention. She squints, almost as if she should flatten her ears and disappear under the fridge once more. "Not really… Looks like there's some construction or buildings down there, but I can't say more. Guess we should grab some pictures and call it soon?" She considers. "I'm not sure I wanna get too close in case they're like those Cylon 'bases'. It feels way too quiet." Where ARE the Cylons? Why would they nuke and run? "There are a few signs of life but…" Mouse seems dubious.

The picture of Mouse looking much like a mouse in concentration is easy for Niobe to picture. And her caution is one that Pickle appreciates, as she gets wary of crashing on bombed out planets from experience. However, if they've ID'd something, she'd feel the mission incomplete without fully exploring it. Touching a few more buttons and chewing on her lower lip, she frowns. "I hear you, Mouse, but I'm picking up non-plant biological life. I can't say it's human, but…it's there. And it's close by. More so than further out in the hills." The ECO pauses, thinking things over. "Up for seeing if this is a cheesy trap or not?"

Squint. Mouse smiles at Pickle and takes a deep breath. "Yeah?" Her eyebrows lift. "Well. Let's just take a peek. We're gonna haul tail though, if it's NOT friendly," Mouse promises. "I am not up for dogfighting in a Raptor," Her eyebrows furrow. "Which way was it?" She asks.

"I am all for that. Mouse and Pickles are not much friends with dogs. Or toasters." And Pickle isn't about to look for a fight. Just, confirmation of things that she may or may not have seen. She gives directions toward where her systems are telling her there are lifeforms of some sort or another, passing by empty and desolate buildings as they do so. "There. Ish. In precise military terms."

"Nor are Raptors," Mouse admits. A Raptor in battle can really turn the tide with its payload, but a Viper it is not. Mouse is sympathetic to Pickles' curiosity and giving in to her own. She nods and starts turning them that way. Flying in low altitudes comes with its own joys and challenges, as she plays against the Raptor. She almost laughs softly, smiling at that last line. "Well, we should come close enough for pictures… or confirmation at least."

Most of those bases, even those the Raptor passes over, have looked pretty much the same. Strange, alien Cylon construction, but deserted. Abandoned. And all you see first appear like that on Tauron. Except one. There are signs of recent activity in the forest around. Trail-clearing. Perhaps harvesting of firewood. Niobe might even spot footprints and vehicle tracks and what appears to be *graffiti* covering…pretty much every inch of the building. Too part away to read, but the zoom on the Raptor's photographs might be able to make more out of it. There are signs the place is very not deserted. Though by human or Cylon, who can say?

As they get closer, Pickle boosts everything that she can in order to get whatever sort of signal she can out of it. Whether it's a good or bad surprise, she wants to be ready for it - because she's never really been good about surprises. The click of pictures keep going and as they get closer, there's the buzz in the background. It's not words or anything discernible, more just like someone left a mic on somewhere. It's an itch that can't be scratched and it is most certainly annoying. "Gods, that is the worst thing ever, gah. It's like…it's like, when you drop your last candy back behind a bolted bunker and you can touch it but you can't pick it up. Can you hear that?" And then, warily, she adds, "Should we…try and say something? At least ask 'em to turn it down?"

Mouse is pushing it a bit. She frowns, keeping her grip tight on the controls. She bites her lower lip. The buzz makes her lift her eyebrows and she nods. "Yeah, totally. And I don't know. It might not be friendly," Mouse reminds quietly. "Even if it is, they'd probably expect us to come down - we don't have any medical gear beyond a first aid kit or anything to help civilians beyond fitting as many in as we could," She notes. "And if it were a trap, I'm afraid-" Well, one knows what happens when Mouse's namesake gets caught in a trap. It's not a pleasant end or a pleasant image. "I think it's best we get back and let the others know. SOmeone might've heard this before," She notes before going quiet.

With a frown, Pickle nods. True enough. They can't just exactly call and leave a message. They'd expect a full on visit. And if they were Cylons, that visit would be worse than in-laws. "Yeah." Possibly not even worth the risk. They're here for mere surveillance and not search and rescue. They've definitely done that, too. Pictures, creepy radio signals, signs of life. There's enough for more exploration, certainly. But for now they should probably wait for back up. "You're right." Especially with the maze of death they'd have to swirl through in order to get out - not fun to do at high stress and speeds. "Let's get back so we can see what these photos say."

Mouse nods at that. "And I bet the CAG might not be happy if we went too far out of bounds on the mission. I'm sure they have something set up if we do find stuff," She believes in the Cidra at any rate. What would they do if they couldn't help all the survivors? It might not go over well with the civilian population and a disgruntled civvie with a knife'll finish the job just as fast as anything else. "We'll come back with friends and supplies," She agrees. Mouse goes quiet at that then and starts to turn them home.

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