PHD #232: EVENT - Finally Found
Finally Found
Summary: After spotting Raptor activity over the Isle of Langley, Cameron and his small group of survivors leave the safety of their mountain encampment and begin a month long journey to the coast in the hopes of finding others, or being found. Meanwhile, Cidra, Crowe, and Vandenberg take one last final sweep over the coastline before calling it a day.
Date: 16 Oct 2041 AE
Related Logs: None
Cameron Cidra Crowe Elpis McCoy Vandenberg 
Cascade coast, Aerilon
The Cascade coastline is as rugged as the mountain ranges that scatter across the land to the south, running southwest and northeast, the shoreline a rough mix of sand and jagged rocks, giving way to scrub and then grasses the further inland one goes. There's not much shelter here, the trees having given way miles back. The wind cuts along the shore sharply and the waves crash and sigh against the sand, the scent of brine hanging heavy in the cold air. The Isle of Langley dominates the view, the majestic Blue Mountains running north and south, as the island broke free and twisted over time from the rest of the land. The strait between them is a dour grey-blue today, the water choppy and rough.
Post-Holocaust Day: #232

The light has begun to fade and for a moment, one of many honestly since they have begun this journey, Cameron hesitates, uncertain. The shelter of the trees would be best for the night. Protection against the wind, against being seen by Cylons, even though that seems utterly unlikely these past few months. There is the fear, of course, that they have been using Raptors to fool survivors like him, like those in his small ragtag group. What better way to make them come out of hiding than the hopes of rescue? He shivers in his heather gray sweater and glances over his shoulder at the small girl with her arms about his neck, clinging to his back. She has become his lodestone, nearly as much as he has become hers it seems. His breath steams slightly in the air as he rumbles softly, "What do you think, Elpis? Stay here for the night? Or do you want to see the ocean?" Blue eyes meet his thoughtfully for a moment before she releases his neck with one hand and points out toward the open almost imperiously. A small smile touches upon his lips as he replies softly, "Right then… ocean it is." Turning around to the rest of the tired group, Cam announces, "Elpis and I are gonna press on. Those of you that are too tired, rest here. Anyone who wants to come with us is welcome. If all goes well, maybe we'll be rescued before nightfall. If not…" If not, they might all be dead, but instead Cameron finishes, "… we'll come back here and camp for the night." Only eight are left. Some would say that eight out of twelve isn't so bad, but it still causes Cameron an ache in his throat that they lost four people in these past eight months of struggle. Everyone is tired, dirty, drained. They nod to him, but don't move. In a way, he can't blame them. There isn't much hope left, save what Cameron carries upon his back. Nodding to the sitting people he has come to think of as family, as tribe, he rumbles, "We'll be back in a bit…" before turning and adjusting the wrap that keeps Elpis firmly upon his back, breaking out of the shadow of the woods and into the light.


Cidra is taking her turn flying search over the landscape of Aerilon, with word there might be human survivors in this area. The CAG does not log as much time in the air as she might like some days, but she's never more at home than when in the pilot's seat of a Raptor. No care for the rough waters for them, as they're a goodly distance above them. Though she does make several minute adjustments to her instruments as they fly against the wind. "You forgot the little quirks of flying in atmosphere after long in space," she notes, more to herself than anyone else. In her backseat her ECO (LTJG Daisy "Skeeter" McCoy today) is doing most of the work in terms of electronic monitoring of the area. She brings the large, boxy plane in lower (albeit still above the treeline), to get a better visual to the ground. Flicking the plane's forward lights on, to cast some beams on said ground as the light begins to fade. "You lot sitting well back there?" she asks without turning her head, almost conversationally, of her passengers. In addition to the ECO, she's carrying a medic and a few Marines available for this jaunt.

"Yessir. Just pondering the Staff Sergeant." Vandenberg sits in the back of the Raptor with a rifle between her knees, head rocking back and forth with the sway of the Raptor. The woman is in her combat blacks, complete with helmet. She looks away from the cockpit towards her platoon sergeant and speaks up. "You know something, Crowe? Sometimes I have to wonder where the hell the Corps digs up people your size. Like, you cannot possibly have ever had a mother. Humans don't naturally occur in your formation. I met this Sergeant from Dog two nights ago; Constin. Does the Corps grow you people in test tubes? He looked like two hundred thirty pounds of redwood and muscle. I was afraid to bump into him. I didn't want a splinter. Or to piss him off." A cockeyed smile sits on her face after she finishes. It’s a short second before she adds. "Has someone my size ever pissed you off to the point that you just kinda…ate them? Maybe swallowed whole? Personal concern of mine, y'see."

"You know LT, I'd figure you would have figured out by now…I'm what a man is supposed to look like." Comes the deep baritone of Crowe in response to Vandenberg. It's a low, gravely voice, the sort that often implies 'I might break you' just in its general tone. Rifle resting across his lap as he checks and rechecks the settings, safety and clip. "Constin eh?" Mental note, get into a fight with Constin, "He bigger than me?" A beat pause and he eyes the LT for a few moments, "Remember that farmer's daughter we ran into who just disappeared one day?" He then pats his stomach a few times, "She tasted like chicken."


Idly he muses to himself that it's too bad they're heading to the northeast, the sun setting behind them. It would be lovely, to watch it set, the clouds turning to copper and rose and lavender over the Isle and the ocean. He shivers subtly as the wind blows his hair to and fro, tilting his head back slightly as he asks the girl on his back, "You warm enough?" As before, she doesn't answer with words, but he can feel the soft pressure of her cheek against his head, bobbing up and down in assent. He blows out a breath and, despite the cold wind, the aching of his body, he can feel a little fire of energy and excitement threading through his system. This is it. This is their chance. He just hopes, for the sake of those he's temporarily left behind, that he made the right choice and hasn't lead them on a wild goose chase, away from their shelter and their food, meager though it was. They can rebuild, they will rebuild, if they must. But Cam hopes for better, for their sakes. "Have you ever seen the ocean, Elpis?" he asks, the girl answering with another shake of her head, but from side to side now. "Well, it shouldn't be too long now. I just hope we make it before dark." One, so she can see it. Two, because getting back to the others in the black of night might not be an easy feat, despite the practice he's had at such things in the past year.


"Sergeant Constin was, I do think, manufactured straight by the Corps for service," Cidra remarks dryly, overhearing that. With a trace of audible respect in her tone. Constin is clearly in her good books. The rest of the banter between the Marines goes uninterrupted by her. "Anything on DRADIS, Skeeter?" That to her ECO.

The petite blonde manning the ECO console pipes back, in a high-pitched, buzzing voice that leaves little doubt how she acquired her callsign, "We got something in the area, Toasty. I am reading positive heat sigs. Biological by the look of them. Look human. Though some of the bigger wildlife on this planet can frak with our perception. Makes you wonder if there's any truth to those stories about Aerilonians getting romantic with farm animals. Anyway. You've got the cords upfront…now."

Cidra just mutters "Ah" to the comment about farm animals. "Thanks much, Skeeter. I am taking us in lower. We may get a bit more turbulence from the wind, so do hold on." And in lower she goes as they skim over the coast

"I bet, sir. That man's file reads like an adventure book. Is it true he really volunteered for a mission to Leonis with no extraction plan, Major?" Vandenberg snorts, shaking her head with a laugh at Crowe's remarks. "My mistake. I wasn't aware that test tube babies like you were designed with any kind of ideal in mind except 'huge frakking size'." She paws the rifle's stock, bouncing it back and forth in her hands. The remark about the girl gets another laugh too. "I figured you were schtoopin her, not literally eating the poor thing." A shrug rolls across her shoulders with an 'oh well' expression on her face. "So your designers had the forethought to install taste buds? Excellent. I'll try to keep that in mind the next time I need to make you taste a knuckle. And I don't know." The woman's greens look the sergeant up and down. "He's close to your size. Thinkin about a Clash of the Titans matchup? You two could be butt buddies if not. He's got a good attitude, too." She takes a firm grip on the rifle with Cidra's warning about turbulence.

"Sounds like we might have a thing or two in common." Huge arms? Massive fists? An unhealthy fascination with shooting things? All necessary to be born and bred for the Corps. Crowe offers one of those shrugs that really means 'Hell yes, Damnit' to Vandenberg, "You know me and a challenge, I ain't turned one down yet. Not gonna lie, it's been hard finding sparing partners these days, and beating you up wouldn't be as much fun since I'd hate to break that pretty little face of yours." A beat pause and Crowe glances towards the cockpit, then back again, "Shit, LT, I was frakkin her, then I ate her literally when I got bored." As to the butt buddies comment, he doesn't even bother touching that one. He knows that in a battle of wits, he will lose. Thus he uses his fists to win battles of wits. Is it fair? Hell no. Who ever said life was fair?


A sharp tugging on his hair makes the doctor stop, the girl on his back wiggling insistently, causing him to ask, "Want down?" A squeeze of her arms for yes. Crouching down slowly, Cameron undoes the sash about his waist, the bonds holding the girl to him loosening until she can easily slip free and place her feet on the ground. Tiny slip of a thing. Six years old, but she could pass for four. Grinning up at him, the little girl takes off running, an easy thing for her considering that Cameron has been carrying her for the past two hours. "Don't go too far," he yells after her, slowly stretching his muscles to work out the kinks she put in them. His eyes raise up to the sky, creasing and narrowing as he sees a glint of something in the distance. There's something heading toward them, the light from the setting sun kissing something metal and silver in the sky. Frak! Glancing down at himself, Cam frowns at the dull clothing. Great for hiding and camouflage. Crap for getting spotted by a potential rescue ship. Reaching into his pocket, he pulls out a lighter and quickly starts to search for dry scrub, calling out to the little girl, "Elpis! Time for a fire! Gather some bracken!" Everything here is rough and dry at least and finding a spot of shelter from the wind next to a boulder, Cameron starts dumping bits of wood and brush there before leaning down and lighting it. The flame flickers, gutters, and dies twice before it finally catches. Running up with an armful of ferns and small branches, Elpis crouches down next to Cameron and starts carefully putting in pieces, one at a time so as not to smother the fragile little fire. "Good girl," Cam rumbles softly, dashing away to gather more stuff, tearing at the brush with his hands, mindless of the cuts and scratches the scraggly shrubs give him in their defense. Time is of the essence!


"The retrieval of the Vipers from Leonis?" Cidra seems to know right off the mission Vandenberg refers to. "'No' extraction plan is something of an exaggeration. Our Raptors got them out of there. But it is true we were not optimistic going in how much time for retrieval of their team there would be, with both the planes and rescue of our other personnel stranded there priority. Sergeant Constin was absolute iron on the ground that night." The Raptor does, indeed, buck more as they skim closer to the ground, though Cidra keeps her flight path more or less straight. A Raptor is designed to do a lot of things, but provide a comfortable, silky-smooth ride is not among them. The craft heads more or less toward Cameron's position though, in all the trees, there's little chance of her getting a visual on any people down there. The flickers of fire do register, albeit faintly at first. "Skeeter, do another pass with the heat sensors. I do think there is *something* down there. I shall circle around, try and find us a clear space to put down." And circle she does. *Over* Cameron's position once, as if she were passing it by. Though she does curve her Raptor back 'round a moment later.

"Oh yeah, sir? File said he got that cluster for getting shot a bunch of times on a mission he didn't expect to survive. Guess I'll ask him." Vandy looks back to Crowe, turning the gun over to actually hold it as they begin circling. "You could spar, sure. Just don't go throwing each other through any bulkheads. That ship is our home now. Last thing I want is to get dropped back on this boring-ass rock. At least send me someplace with something to shoot." Vandenberg quirks her face at his remark about breaking her face. "Aw c’mon. You know how many times I've heard that before, meathead?" The woman lifts an arm and shakes a finger towards him. "Only reason you won't beat me into a simple puddle of goo is because you think I could make a handy riot shield someday. Well I got news for you." Her hand drops, chin lifting in defiance. "I am not for defense. I am an offensive weapon only. So there." Another snorted laugh later, she closes her eyes to lean her head and helmet against the seat. "Man-hoe. I think if Fulloms could be anyone, he'd be you. I watched him strike out with. what was her name? The loose hussy that hung out at the pub in Neath. Claire? Colleen? I was a C-something."

"New ship an' all, time I start showin' people what's what." Crowe states flatly in his monotone that comes out so often when he's being sarcastic. Seeing Vandenberg pull her rifle into a more readied position, Crowe does the same, pulling the clip out a final time and slamming it back in, chambering the first round. "No, the only reason I'd never beat your ass for real, LT, is cause I owe you for keepin me goin' down there." he motions with his head towards the floor of the raptor, to indicate the planet itself. A beat pause and Crowe just nods to Vandenberg, "That boy got hard every time I walked into a room he wanted to be me so bad." a beat pause, "Clara." and then he just gives the LT a knowing look. "He wasn't missing much."


He forgot just how fast those things fly, rising up to his feet to wave his arms frantically as the Viper whooshes by overhead. Arms drop down as a cold sense of horror fills Cameron's gut and starts to climb up his throat. Oh Gods…. they didn't see him or the fire. Too fast. But then the ship is turning and frantically Cameron starts to jump up and down, waving his arms, the fire burning before him, growing higher as it catches a small bush and starts to devour it. Elpis looks at Cameron with a huge grin on her face before copying him in this strange new game, jumping up and down and waving her arms, laughter escaping her lips.


"Fire!" Cidra hollers. With a note of triumph in her voice, rather than the standard alarm that comes with such an exclamation. "Along the coastline. She circles again. Fortunately, the area Cameron has chosen is in the clear, so she has both an easy time spotting the blaze and a fair pick of a descent landing spot. "I do think I have found what is out there. Putting us down. What have you found the citizenry to be like here?" Addressed to both Vandenberg and Crowe as she lands. "We had some…touchy encounters with the locals when we were engaged in rescue operations down on Sagittaron, but those Aerilonians we have encountered have been most friendly so far." And land she does. One very large Colonial Raptor plants itself down on the ground, not fifty yards from Cameron's fire.

"Uh huh. What's what." Vandenberg is still grinning when she reaches for the charging handle to chamber a round. Cha-clank! "I think we got each other to blame for keeping motivated. You didn't want to fail me or the fireteam. Neither did I. Whoever said pride is a sin for the vain can kiss my lily-white rump. It kept us alive a long time. We've got nobody to thank for it but each other." She finishes with a nod, pushing the butt of her rifle out towards him to tap with his own as if in cheers. "Frak. Yeah, Clara. Damn, you- no, tell me you didn't, Sarge. That's disgusting. You go see the doc to get an ointment or anything yet?" When Cidra asks about the locals, Van speaks up higher. "Friendly about covers it. We organized a militia in Neath. Ran guerrilla operations for about three months with them. Good folk. Sturdy stock. Their own pride is well-founded." With the Raptor touching down, she spins her finger over her head. The universal 'mount up' sign. She rises from the seat and moves to the hatch.

"Frak yeah I did LT. There weren't but ten girls worth frakking in that whole settlement. I had to take what I could get." Crowe replies as if it were the most obvious answer ever. He taps the barrel of his rifle against hers and nods just once. No more jesting or anything else right now, he's up out of his seat, though given his height he needs to duck his head down a bit on his way to the hatch, "I hate to say it…but I'm kinda hoping for a little resistance here. I haven't shot anything in a while…" He comes up behind the LT and pauses, "Want me on point LT, or does your midget ass want to take it?"


As the ship swings back around, Cameron's legs buckle under him for a moment, the sense of relief so powerful as to take his strength away in a flash. He slowly drops to his knees and there he remains, kneeling, his heart pounding with fear and hope as he extends an arm toward Elpis, the girl instantly coming to his side and giving him a hug. "This is it," he tells her softly, the fire gusting and sputtering as the Raptor lands. "I don't know what 'it' is, exactly, but whatever it is, this is it…" Taking a deep breath he struggles to regain his composure, giving the girl a hug before taking her hand in his and rising back up to his feet again, walking around the fire and slowly toward the ship, his free hand held outward, palm up, in a gesture of peace, ocean eyes fixed upon the hatch, praying that one comes out is human… and friendly.

Cidra opens up the Raptor's hatch once she's got the boxy craft firmly situated on the ground. "Let us see what we have here, Lieutenant," she says. She stays in the pilot's seat for now. The Marines get to put their boots on the ground first.

"You know they have personalities and are actually human, right Crowe?" Van offers with a chuckle, shaking her head as she stands at the ramp, waiting for it to drop. Leaned forward with her rifle low, the woman doesn't really look like she should be joking. "If I ever heard someone referring to me like that? Lords and Ladies help 'em, because I wouldn't spare them mercy." When the hatch drops, she is back to business. She slices a hand at Crowe and then out the hatch. He's taking point. After he's out, she's out right behind him with her game face on. Hopping off the ramp behind him, the Lieutenant sweeps the area around them with her rifle before settling back on the man and little girl. "Halt," she barks. Whoa. Woman has some oomph. "Sergeant, search the man. Sir? You got a name?"

"You say that like I give a frak, LT." Crowe replies with a smirk, but just like Van, he's all business when the hatch opens. The hand motion was all he needed, no words to go with them. A stern nod, and the Sergeant is down the ramp, rifle at the ready, butt end firmly settled into his shoulder, head titled as he keeps his sights lined up. He does his own sweep and clear, rifle training on the man and little girl. He lets the LT do the talking, but as soon as the order is given, the heavy footfalls of the 'redwood' marine head in the direction of Cameron, rifle tilted towards the ground at a 45 degree angle, still ready but not aimed right at Cameron. "Hands up, spread your legs out sir. I'm only askin' once." His deep voice is cold, stern, unwavering. He stops above five feet from Cameron and waits for him to comply, or not.

Cameron stops immediately as the soldier? marine? the person with the gun tells him to. Swallowing hard, he can't help but notice the sudden trembling of the small hand clasped within his own and squeezing it gently, he murmurs, "It's going to be alright, Elpis. Don't be afraid." The girl juts her chin up and nods, squeezing Cam's hand all the harder as she puts on a brave front, but her bottom lip has started to quiver and her eyes are overbright. Squeezing her hand reassuringly in turn, Cameron calls out in reply, "Dr. Cameron Adair, and this here is Elpis." He doesn't mention the others yet, on the off chance that these people are not in fact friends. As the giant of a Marine closes in on them, however, Elpis' eyes grow huge as she looks up at him and in an instant she has her arms around Cam's waist, her face buried into his hip as she clings to him, half hiding behind his leg. Taking a deep breath, Cameron complies the best that he can, calling out firmly in a voice that, much to his surprise, doesn't quaver, "Don't hurt the child!" He has virtually nothing on him, the few weapons in their possession back with the others along with their precious supplies. He shivers, not entirely due to the cold, but otherwise stands steady with his legs apart and his hands in the air.


"Real enthusiastic, ain't they?" Skeeter drawls from her place at the ECO board as she watches the Marines exit. Craning her neck to try and get a glimpse of what they're picking up.

"They are doing their duty, Skeeter," Cidra replies to her backseater mildly. She has a decent view of the encounter between the Marines and Cameron from the viewport ahead of the pilot's seat, and she watches it intently. "Given what we saw on Sagittaron, and what happened to Ibrahim, I am all for caution in dealing with those we are to bring aboard."


Vandenberg is not about to point her rifle at Cameron. Especially not at the child. "Mister..Adair." She flickers her eyes to Crowe and then back to him. "I'm Lieutenant Vandenberg, Colonial Marine Corps. The man about to search you is Staff Sergeant Crowe. If anyone tries to hurt that child, they will find themselves up to their neck in fecal matter. We're not going to hurt anyone else, either." She takes a few steps closer, glancing to the side and peeking around the Raptor. "This is just standard procedure. Are you two alone?"

The rifle is slung back around his shoulder, since he has Vandenberg watching his back. He moves around behind Cameron, and while he is big and imposing, he doesn't do anything else to intimidate the man or the child, "No one's getting hurt unless they start shooting first. I don't expect that's likely to happen right here and now." And then he begins his search of the man. He isn't rough about it, patting him down diligently though to ensure he isn't armed. When he doesn't find any weapons he nods to Vandenberg, "Clean LT." His rifle is slung back around into ready position, though this time he isn't aiming it towards Cameron or the child, but instead is keeping a vigilant eye on their surroundings.

Cameron is a doctor, a civilian; he knows nothing of military procedure. But the Lieutenant's words reassure him subtly, his head nodding once as he replies, "There are six other survivors back in the woods," with a tilt of his head to the side to indicate their general direction. In truth, he's feeling a bit dizzy, the adrenaline in his system fizzing like carbonated water in his veins. "We've been living in the Cascades and have been walking to the coast for twenty five days now since we first spotted activity in this direction." He doesn't bother correcting her. Titles don't really matter right now. "I don't have any weapons on me, but we have three hunting rifles in our possession as well as some knives and other implements." After all every tool is a weapon, if you hold it just right. He holds still for Crowe's pat down, hands held in the air as he nods and looks down at the small child clinging to him. "It's okay, Elpis. Yes, he's a big man, but he isn't going to hurt us." The girl's face looks up, first at Cameron and then at Crowe with untrusting eyes. "Can I put my arms down?" he asks, just to be safe before assuming he can.

"Copy, Sergeant." Indeed, she keeps her attention on the man and little girl while Crowe is watching the treelines. "You can drop your arms. Can you do me a favor and just turn her pockets inside-out for me real fast?" Natalie gestures towards Elpis. "You said six more?" She hollers over her shoulder towards the Raptor: "Major. Looks like eight in total. We going to have enough room? Or you need the Sergeant and I to stay groundside while you shuttle them?" Her attention then falls back to Cameron. "What kind of activity in this region? Human? Cylon? Or you just referring to the Raptors and Vipers?"

Rifle still at the ready, Crowe gives a single glance towards the girl, "Don't worry, I'll make sure you're safe." If nothing else, it's a believable statement coming from a man who looks like Crowe. A few steps are taken away from the pair as the Sergeant continues to survey the treeline. A beat pause. For a moment he actually likes the sound of staying planet side. He'd kill for some action right now. "I'm good to stay here while they ferry them, LT." That's all he needs to say really. And now he waits for Cameron's reply, as to what sort of activity they've seen.

Lowering his arms, Cameron hunkers down next to the girl and peels open the pockets of her dress, thick leggings keeping her skinny legs warm, then tucks them back in once Vandenberg's curiosity is satisfied. "We were too far away to know for sure. It's been a long journey to get here. But we could tell that the ships were Raptors and Vipers. You're the first people we've seen, other than those that we've picked up over the past eight months." His hand lightly ruffles Elpis' hair before Cam slowly rises up again. "Haven't seen any Cylons in… months now. But there isn't much… left here to interest them." Elpis' eyes follow Crowe more curiously, now wide in amazement, but more trusting than before. She tugs at Cameron's cargo pants and then lifts her hand way over her head, pointing up as she looks at Crowe. The doctor's mouth curls into a wry smile as he concurs, "Yes, Sergeant Crowe is very tall, isn't he?"

Cidra emerges from the Raptor when she's hollered at, removing her flight helmet as she exits. It's not strictly necessary when they're operating in atmosphere, and the thing makes conversation a bit more cumbersome. For a moment she just looks at Cameron and the little girl. Faintest of smiles coming to her lips. She strides over to speak with them properly. "There are more, you say?" She cannot help but sound gladdened at that. "We can fly ten passengers at capacity, plus myself and the ECO." Eyes fall upon Elpis. "And that is assuming all are fully grown men. These two and six more, we should be just fine to fly back with you both aboard without any troubles." A moment's pause, once business is concluded, and she adds a, "Hello" to Cameron and the girl properly.

"Copy that, sir." Vandenberg nods once to Cidra's words. "We'll fetch the other six. Sir?" She looks to Cameron again. "Six more. Armed. Are they jumpy? Do they keep a standing watch? I ask because if we roll through the trees and just stumble on these people I don't want to get hosed. The Sergeant and I just got rescued, ourselves. Hate to have spent eight months down here surviving only to get shot up during a rescue." She drums her fingers on the barrel of the rifle. "Unless you want to start walking that direction while shouting their names." She takes a few steps over towards Crowe. "Wish it had been cool like this where we were. Damn, I don't mind this one bit."

"Tall enough, little bit." Crowe states towards the girl and looks off in the direction Cameron indicated. He points his rifle in that direction once more, "Don't suggest shouting, LT. Just cause they ain’t noticed Cylons don't mean there aren't any around. Much as I love a firefight, best to get them quietly back to the ship." A glance over to Cameron, "The girl gonna be ok to stay here with the ship, so you an lead us to the others?" Crowe is actually trying to ensure they don't attract Cylons? Look at him being all responsible. It must be the kid. A glance over his shoulder to Vandenberg for approval of what he's just suggested.

Nodding at Cidra's question, Cameron replies, "Two women, four men, myself, and Elpis here. That's it. But we have some… things that would be good to hold onto," he notes slightly awkwardly, "So perhaps two runs would be best." The strain of the day is starting to drag at him, and as the adrenaline begins to wear off, Cameron finds himself sinking down into a crouch again, arms resting on his knees as he tries to take in the fact that they've been found. They've been rescued. And then the questions flood in. "How… how bad is it? I'm guessing that Aerilon is not the only world that was attacked…" Cause otherwise they would have come much sooner. "How…. what ship are you from?" Blinking as Vandenberg calls over to him, Cameron thinks for a minute. That seems harder to do than usual. They're tired and probably nervous. But we have a code word. If you say "Pandora" and tell them who you are, they won't shoot." He blinks again before rising up again a tad unsteadily. "Of course, I can also come with you." Right. That would be smartest. Elpis, it seems, has gotten over her initial fear, because now she's standing quite close to Crowe, looking up at the Redwood of a man as if she were pondering climbing him. So tall!! Fascinating. Nodding, Cameron replies, "As long as she has someone to stay with, she'll be fine. Just need to introduce her to whomever that will be first."

"We are of the Battlestar Cerberus," Cidra replies to the where-from question first. "Our ship escaped the Cylon's attack of Picon more than seven months ago. All twelve of the colonies were set upon simultaneously by the Cylons. Aerilon was the least hit of them, if that gives you any idea of the scale of destruction." She states it quite starkly. "I can put in a wireless call for another Raptor. What manner of 'things' shall you wish us to be hauling for you?" A pause and she adds, "I shall be staying with the Raptor here, as shall my ECO. We can watch your child." She eyes Elpis somewhat warily then adds another addendum, "Skeeter likes children." Cidra seems less sold on them, though she does attempt a smile at the girl. It's notably stiff.

"Nah. I'm not a fan of the shouting either. Never hurts to ask, though." Vandenberg flickers a lopsided smirk at the Sergeant before looking back to Cameron. She listens wordlessly, her eyes locked on him. With Cidra taking point, Van moves closer to Crowe, adjusting the seat of her rifle against her shoulder. "When we move, I want you on point. We'll stick him in the middle and I'll keep an eye. Play it safe like we always did before and after Neath. No chances, no risks. You smell something south of kosher, call a halt. Do not open fire without my strict orders to do so - even if we take fire. Just drop behind cover. Ready to do some more walking?"

Van's approach draws Crowe's attention towards her for a moment, then a glance back towards Cameron and Elpis, "Alright, go ahead and get her situated with the pilots." He states this somewhat coldly and then his attention returns to Vandenberg, "You got it, LT. Point it is." A glance to Cameron, "How far is it?" Not that the marine doesn't look like he minds walking, or jogging, or running, but still, it's good to know these things. He indicates to Van that the safety on his rifle is on, "You know I don't fire without orders, LT." He moves a few steps in the direction they are going to be heading in and looks over his shoulder, "Ready to walk, Sir."

The ship's name clearly means nothing to Cameron, by the blank expression on his face, but his features darken notably at the fact that Aerilon got the least damage. Not really a surprise, save for the fact of what it means for human race as a whole. "Plants," is the odd reply given to Cidra's question. "Some food, some medicinal. We had to leave our garden behind, but I brought one of everything we had managed to find and grow. We had some animals too, but we had to sacrifice them on the trip here in order to make it alive. We have other things - clothes, the weapons, but I don't know what might be worth taking or not." In other words, he doesn't know how desperate things might be onboard the ship. Gods, could it be worse? The comment about Elpis causes Cam to blink and reply, "She's not my…." but his voice drops off as Elpis turns to look at him steadily, with eyes far older than any six year olds' should be. Glancing over at Vandenberg, Cameron asks sensibly, "Shouldn't I go first? Since they know me? If they see someone armed first, they might panic. I can go, find them, bring them out." Taking a few steps toward Van and Crowe, he wraps his arms about himself, rubbing his hands over the sleeves of his sweater as he notes, "About a mile that way," gesturing toward the treeline.

"Medicinal?" This prompts Cidra's interest. "Ah. Plants we can manage. I am, for my part, glad you left the livestock behind. Bring them and the clothes. Of those we can always use more. Whatever else you think worth carrying. With another bird, we shall have plenty of room." She inclines her head to Vandenberg. "Good hunting, Lieutenant. I shall be on the wireless if you run into any…difficulties."

Vandenberg shakes her head to Cameron. "No dice, Doctor Adair." It almost sounds like she's used those two words plenty of times before. It nearly comes out sounding like 'Dock-a-dare'. "My Sergeant leads. You may not have seen Cylons in months, but that doesn't mean we can't still run into trouble. If you take a hit first and we haven't located them, gonna be tough to find this other group." There's a stern nod to Cidra following the woman's well-wishing. "Thank you, sir. We'll be back shortly. Crowe?" A sliced hand in the proper direction. "Move it." She'll wait for Cameron to take the second slot before she takes another step.

"Don't worry Doc, I got a real commanding presence." Crowe states in a deep voice and then nods to Vandenberg, rifle shouldered and to the ready as he starts to move off towards the direction indicated. "You'll be able to keep em from panicking just as well from behind me. LT's, right, I can take a hit. You can't." This isn't a guess, it's statement of face in the Sergeant's mind. A mile hike, potential for danger or at least a paranoid mob, this is the most fun he's had in three days.

"I'm a doctor," Cameron tells Cidra with a crooked, tired smile. "Medical supplies are hard to come by out here, but I have my traveling kit, what's left of it, and have been collecting every medicinal plant I've managed to find these past eight months." Listening to Van's logic, Cameron simply nods wearily, too tired to argue with the woman. He chuckles softly at Crowe's commentary and notes, "Maybe that's what I'm afraid of…" but his words are more joking than critical. Turning to Elpis, he crouches down again and explains, "I'm going with the Lieutenant and the Sergeant to get everybody else. I need you to stay here and stay out of trouble, alright?" The girl's eyes dart to each person from the Raptor, assessing them before finally meeting Cameron's gaze and nodding her head somberly. "Good girl," he rumbles, ruffling her hair again before rising up to join Van and Crowe. As he turns to leave, Elpis walks over to Cidra and looks up at her before trying to insinuate her small hand into the pilot's grasp.

Cidra blinks when Elpis tries to take her hand. But she does clasp the girl's smaller palm in her gloved one, leading her as gently as possible toward the Raptor. "Come along, child. Your fa…Doctor Adair shall be back soon." Occurred to her mid-sentence the parental may or may not apply. She tries to sound comforting, though her manner is undeniably stiff.

"Whatcha got there, Toasty?" Skeeter exclaims with a high-pitched laugh as the little girl is led into the Raptor. Big, bright and (likely due to Cidra) amused smile. "Hey! Hey there, kid. I'm Daisy. You can call me Skeeter, though. Everybody does. We're your ride home. Don't mind Toasty. She doesn't bite anything below ensign. No matter what people say."

Vandenberg appears to have all faith and trust in the Sergeant, not even bothering to give further instructions. She has to believe he knows what he is doing. She keeps about seven or eight feet from Cameron, watching his movements from behind. Be cordial and friendly to everyone you meet and have a plan to kill them. "So Doc. Where you from? You Aerilonian originally?" she asks conversationally.

"No need to fear, Doc. I know how to handle situations like this, and I'm not gonna shoot any of your people unless the LT tells me to." Crowe states rather ominously…Now he has to be frakking with the Doctor, just a little bit. He probably wouldn't shoot civilians even if ordered, right? In any event, he takes point, leading the way through the woods off in the direction he was told to go in, rifle at the ready, even vigilant. Oh to see a tin can right now so he could blast it. What fun that would be. Unfortunately all he sees for now is more trees.

Elpis doesn't seem to mind that Cidra holds her hand like it was something the cat coughed up or that she doesn't seem to have the slightest clue how to talk to a child. Her gaze rounds upon Skeeter as they enter the Raptor, a smile curling her lips at the friendly woman as she lifts her free hand and waves at her shyly. But her other hand stays firmly in Cidra's and looking up at the pilot again, she squeezes the gloved fingers as if trying to reassure the woman or something crazy like that.

Cameron does as he's told, walking behind Crowe, in front of Vandenberg, clueless of the fact that she is watching him. He eyes Crowe's back a tad dubiously, fairly certain that the Marine is kidding, but not 100% certain. His hands push into his pockets in an attempt to warm them, his breath clouding as he walks back toward the woods. His voice has no clear accent, but he replies in the affirmative. "Yes, I grew up here, in a little place called Neath, but I went to university on Caprica." His head turns slightly to glance over his shoulder and back toward Van as he asks conversationally, "You?"


"All right…" Cidra mutters to herself as Elpis continues to hold her hand. She allows the girl to do it while she slips back into the pilot's seat and prepares to radio the Cerberus. To summon a secondary Raptor.

Skeeter, meanwhile, continues to giggle. "Man, I wish I had a camera. You look right cute."

Cidra looks over her shoulder to glare.

As Cidra takes her seat, Elpis crowds closer, looking with interest at all the lights and buttons and switches, oh my! Her fingers reach out, hovering inches away, decidedly not touching for all the WANT of touching that is betrayed by them. But Cam asked her to stay out of trouble, so out of trouble she will stay. Maybe. Her eyes flicker sideways toward Cidra surreptitiously, to see if she's paying any attention before she reaches out to touch a green light, stroking one tiny finger over it delicately. Turning to look at Skeeter again, the tiny girl giggles, the first sound she's made since they found her, her smile revealing a small gap between her front teeth.


Vandenberg listens to the answer somewhat expectantly, glancing from Cameron to the back of Crowe. "That make as much sense to you as it does me, Sergeant?" She continues walking, keeping her scan up around them. "Me? Canceron. Small mining ville near the northern pole." She clears her throat. "Dad's name was Daemon, yeah? Mom was Caerlyn?"

"Neath, eh?" Crowe offers up, it's the first thing he's said in a little bit now as they continue to trudge along towards the camp. "Got a little experience there." A nod is offered over his shoulder towards Vandenberg. Crowe falls silent once more, gaze shifting back to the endless woods before him, rifle at the ready, "We keep following this line, Doc? Or do we need to diverge at some point?"

Frowning slightly, Cameron glances over his shoulder once more before facing forward and asking, "Why? Because people from Aerilon are too stupid to go to high school, let alone college, let alone a real college like Caprica University?" Oh yeah, there goes the pricked Aerilon pride. He's body language betrays his surprise at Crowe's reference to Neath, his mouth opening to ask what he means by that. But when Van so blithely drops the name of his father and mother, Cameron stops dead in his tracks, stops breathing. He doesn't turn around, doesn't move, and after a few seconds he asks, "How do you know their names?" in a soft and hollow voice.


"This is the flight control panel," Cidra says to Elpis, rather more engaged with the child when she shows an interest in the Raptor controls. "Measures altitude, speed, shows basic DRADIS read-outs…" A pointed throat-clearing from her backseat makes her add, "…though the countermeasures console has a larger and better equipped sensory system. A Raptor is by far the most versatile piece of equipment at Colonial military disposal…"

Skeeter makes a 'Blah, blah, blah' hand-gesture and face at the little girl, for her part. The ECO seems to be enjoying her trip.

The girl giggles again and lifts her hand to mimic the 'blah, blah' hand gesture that Skeeter has just taught her, clearly very pleased with this new piece of sign language. Her head turns up to Cidra again, however, clearly interested in what she is saying even if she does like the Skeeter's pronouncement of it as well. Reaching out with a careful hand, she selects a monitor, something that she can't affect by touching it, and traces a finger carefully over the display curiously before looking at Cidra with a clear question in her eyes. ~What does this one do?~


"Secure your hackles, Doctor. I went to college and I'm from a labor-happy mining town. Most of the kids there quit school just to work the mines and make money. Besides, I was referrin' to your bein' from Neath." Vandenberg moves closer to him but motions for him to keep moving. "Stay active. You stop, you can crash. Also keeps you warm." She'll wait. "The Sergeant and I knew your parents. We worked with them a bit. I think we've both been operated-on by them. I know your mom pulled a round out of my hindquarters back in May."

Crowe eyerolls a bit at the Doctor's little outburst, grunting out, "Watch the attitude, Doc, we're here to help." He then nods a bit, confirming, "She's right. I know your mom probably saved my life, I took a round to the chest a few weeks before the LT here took one to the ass." He smirks a bit, "Good folks, your parents." And then he's quiet once more, moving through the trees once more with silent conviction.

He doesn't want to move. He wants to turn around and shake Van and demand information from her. "I know," he notes with dry asperity. "I'm a doctor and I've been walking for 25 days straight. I know how walking increases my metabolism and base temperature and…." but this is all pointless. He walks, but has dropped back enough to walk as close to side by side as Van will allow. His blue eyes flicker back and forth between Crowe and Van as he asks them, "They're alive? Both of them?" It's the one possibility he dared not hope for.


Cidra smiles slightly when the little girl giggles. "You see there?" she says to Skeeter. As if this proves some sort of point. "I have a sense of humor. Not everyone gets this." She keeps a watchful eye on Elpis' reaching for the controls, but does not seem overly concerned about the girl mussing with things too much. Takes more than flicking a dial to jump the Raptor. "Ah. That affects our gunnery controls. Though we are presently unarmed. But when missile equipped we can…" A pause, as she wonders how best to explain that to the child.

Skeeter obliges by making finger guns and proclaiming, "Pew-pew!"

Blue eyes flicker back and forth between Cidra and Skeeter before Elpis looks Skeeter right in the eyes and covers her mouth to giggle again at Cidra's misunderstanding. Cidra's cool! Skeeter, however, is the funny one. She seems bemused when the pilot says that they are unarmed. That doesn't sound safe! But when she stalls in uncertainty of how to finish up, Elpis touches the display again and then mimics Skeeter's gesture, but without the 'pew-pew' noise, eyes open wide and questioning to see if she got it right? Impatient to know more, she grabs a hold of Cidra's clothes and hauls herself up, plopping herself into the pilot's lap and pointing at a different switch before looking at Cidra over her shoulder with curious eyes.


Vandenberg just stares at him while he lists off the advantages of continued movement. "..and I won't have to plant a boot anyplace, either." She headtilts in their direction of travel once last time before he continues. Its hard to get beside her, too. Hell, just staying close to her might be difficult. "Crowe is correct. And yes, they were." Alive. "I can't imagine they are anymore. We had a militia operation running for a spell with the rest of the town. They were in the habit of saving lives and generally being heroic with it. It was a good relationship. But the Cylons got sick of us mucking with their own operations. They swept the town." She nods ahead, then. "How much further, Doc?" Don't focus on the town. There's bad thoughts that direction.

Crowe remains dutifully silent for a short while, letting the LT answer the questions for now. He does offer up something to try and distract the doctor, "We've got a fork up here, Doc." and then a moment later he slows a bit, "And a fallen tree blocking one of the two paths." a glance over his shoulder, "Was that tree down like that before Doc, or is that somethin' new?" Eyes forward once more, rifle up, just a tad more at the ready than he was before.

Cameron gives up trying to get closer or next to Van, moving up between the pair once more as he bites his lip and doesn't respond to their fair counters and comments. Yeah, he deserved those. But once more he stops dead. Why? Why didn't they say that first?? It seems almost cruel, to hand him a perfect pearl of knowledge and hope only to smash it. His eyes close as Cam's head drops back and he swallows hard, the truth painful, like a knife in his throat. He opens his mouth to reply, but no sound comes out. He coughs, trying to clear his throat, but still his voice comes out soft and strangled. "I don't know…. I didn't walk through this part of the woods… we didn't enter where I left from…" Cause if they had, well, then they'd be at the camp. He rubs at his face tiredly and, well, if he rubs a few tears away at the same time, even better.


"Wha…?" is Cidra's startled exclamation as the little girl climbs in her lap. A wide-eyed look is cast back at Skeeter. In a 'Help' sort of way. Though she manages to awkwardly hold the child. The ECO, unhelpfully, just giggles. Cidra clears her throat. "I am going to talk on the wireless now," she informs Elpis, fiddling with the controls at her console. "Cerberus, Toast. Be advised, we require a secondary Raptor at my position. Relaying coordinates…now. We have found survivors. The ones we have encountered appear to be in good health…" She eyes the little girl again. "…but recommend sending a medic as a precautionary measure…"

Elpis nods soberly, like she even knows what that means, but as promised she's good and doesn't get in Cidra's way as she wires the Cerberus. At the mention of a medic, however, she gives Cidra a disapproving look and a shake of her head, pointing out of the cockpit toward where Cameron and the Marines went before rolling up her sleeve to present a perfectly bound bandage on her arm. She then crosses her arms and shakes her head in a firm 'no' gesture. No doctors needed!


"Doc." Vandenberg's voice is rough. "Nothing changed from ten minutes ago. You wanna know details, we'll get together over beers some night. For now?" She gestures to the sky with the rifle. "Its gonna be dark soon. Those people are gonna be getting colder. We need to find them. Swallow it down and lets soldier on. So far you're doin your family name proud. Lets continue the tradition." That hand comes out again and gestures at the fork and path ahead.

The Sergeant holds his position steady, crouching down as he holds up a closed fist, visually sweeping the area before them. He then speaks, albeit more quietly this time, "Alright Doc, which way, left or right?" To the right would be the path with the downed tree. It seems unlikely that it's a trap, especially if they don't need to go down that path to begin with. The woods are pretty dense here, so the paths are the easiest way to go. "Be sure."

Anger flares up within Cameron as he bites his tongue and waits for it to subside. His hands flex and clench a few times before he finally speaks. "Ten minutes ago I wasn't thinking of my parents, even if it was logical to assume they were dead," he corrects. "One minute ago you gave me the belief and hope that they were alive. Ten seconds ago you crushed that hope, and the impossible hope that I had not completely given up on with the truth. And yes, I'll hold you to those drinks and details, but don't for a minute tell me what I frakkin' have to do. I know what I frakkin' have to do. I've been doing it all my frakkin' life…" And with that he storms forward toward the left path, heedless of the position of the Marines as he replies, "They're on the edge of the woods, we don't want to go deeper into them… to the left."


"No?" Cidra blinks at the little girl, mimicking the head-shaking gesture in a bemused sort of way. "I assure you, child, a secondary vehicle is most prudent if we are hauling supplies as well as people. It is unwise to fly a Raptor at maximum weight or cabin space capacity unless there is no other option. You see…"

Skeeter does more 'Blah, blah, blah' gesturing behind her bosses back. This time, however, Cidra happens to look over her shoulder while she's doing it. The CAG *glares*. The ECO grins with sweet false innocence. "What?"

The little girl rolls her eyes. Communicating with adults is hard, especially when they're so dumb! Shaking her head again, she pats the console with one hand and nods her head in vigorous assent. Yes, send another ship. She rolls up her sleeve again to show the bandage and then points outside the ship, gesturing back and forth, outside, bandage, outside, bandage. Get it? Already got a doctor. She points to bandage then to the console and then shakes her head no. No need 'nother doctor. Lifting her gaze to Skeeter, Elpis implores her to explain things to her interesting, but not very bright, boss.


When Crowe's fist goes up, Vandenberg drops to a knee after a quick three-count. She motions for the Doctor to do the same as she turns through a complete three-sixty. She listens to his angry words but doesn't look at him. She's watching Crowe for the signal to move forward. "So then we should have just kept our mouths shut, Doctor? Let you just continue on with the question?" Vandenberg shrugs, rolling her shoulders. "The moment I said anything about your parents, you were going to hope. Just figured you would rather know. I know I would."

Crouching down as indicated, Cam stares at the ground as Van talks before he finally lifts his head to study her face. "I wish…. I wish you had said things differently. I wish you had waited. Offered to buy me drinks and tell me stories. I wish you had told me that you were sorry, that my parents were dead but that you'd met them and they helped you and others before finally being killed by the Cylons. I wish you hadn't given me false hope. But then, I wish for a lot of things. We all do." Pinching the bridge of his nose, he offers half in apology, half in explanation, "It's been a hard eight months, and the last month has been even harder, coming all this way. I'm very tired, Lieutenant. We all are."


"Don't mind Toasty, honey. That's just her way. You get used to it. She's good at flying these things, though," Skeeter pipes to Elpis, with a sort of long-suffering (and dramatic) fondness.

Cidra glares at the ECO some more. Though she does her best to moderate her facial expression when she turns back to the child. One of those stiff smiles again. "Oh, did you injure yourself?" she asks the girl. Then, some sort of understanding dawning, she adds, "Your Doctor Adair seems very nice. He shall be back soon, I am sure."

Elpis looks thoughtful for awhile, her eyes flickering out in the direction of the woods as she slips her thumb into her mouth and curls up on Cidra's lap pondering whether Cam might need a doctor. She hadn't thought of that before. She rubs lightly at the bandage and nods, rolling down her sleeve again before leaning into Cidra's side, her fingers curling into the pilot's uniform.


"Things are rough all over." Vandenberg is probably a very warm and affectionate person when she's not on duty. It might even hurt her to say things like that. But regardless, that's what comes out. "When we sit down to explain things, maybe you'll understand why I worded that the way I did." She flicks the safety off and on again, thumbing it idly until Crowe motions them in a particular direction. Then she's up and on the move. "For what its worth, I'm sorry they're gone." But not anything else, apparently.

"I wish you would stop talking about it so I can listen for an ambush." Crowe half growls out. No one ever said the Sergeant was a nice person. Besides it's getting darker and they have ground to cover. There's a beat pause and his hand signal changes, motioning for them to follow, "Left, let's move out." Apparently he's fine with them getting ambushed at this point. He doesn't comment on being sorry or anything else for that matter. He just starts off down the road again.

No pity, but then he hadn't really expected any. He simply nods in response to Vandenberg's words, but makes no comment. When Crowe gives them the go ahead, Cameron rises up and heads forward, keeping silent as asked till he suddenly stops and turns. "This is wrong. We can't follow the path. It's taking us deeper into the woods," he protests, turning more sharply to the left to start pushing his way through the undergrowth, back towards the edge of the woods. They should have walked along the edge of the woods, rather than in them. Maybe if Cameron had been thinking more clearly he would have realized the gravity of their mistake. Coming from the coastline, they would have expected it to be him. Coming from the forest though? As a hint of light hits the metal of Crowe's weapon, a shot rings out from up ahead, causing Cameron to jerk in surprise before calling out sharply, "No, wait, it's me! It's Cameron! Pandora! Stop shooting!" But before he's finished, several more shots are fired and with sudden jerk, Cam spins off to the left and crashes into the underbrush. In the wake of this, there are voices, confused and scared, a woman calling out, "Stop shooting you idiots, it's Cameron!" From the darkness a few faces appear, frightened, confused, eyes flickering about uncertainly.


Cidra pats the little girl's shoulder. Awkwardly. "There, there…" It seems to be the thing one is supposed to say. "I am quite sure everything is fine."

Her eyes blink slowly, each time the lids remaining lowered a few seconds longer before snapping open again. She must trust Cidra though, because after a few more seconds of this her eyes close and stay closed, her hand slipping from her mouth as she falls asleep upon Cidra's lap in that deep impossible sort of sleep that only children can manage for some reason.


It's the sound that gets a reaction from Vandenberg. She dives for the ground so hard, her shoulder impacts before her knees. She rolls behind a tree and brings the rifle to bear on the direction of the shots. Once the woman's voice in the distance tells them to quit, Van's voice joins in: "Best stop firing before the Colonial Marines call for air support! Set your weapons on the ground and walk towards my voice!" It doesn't sound like she's willing to negotiate these terms. At all.

Of course, for Crowe it was the bullet that whizzed by his face that got his reaction, which him slamming into a tree next to him and taking a knee immediately. He prepares himself for the possibility of a fight, bringing his rifle to his shoulder and waiting for the order to fire, which never comes. Instead it's the LT ordering them to drop their weapons. He feels it's best to let her speak, but he keeps his rifle trained. More than likely if he saw a weapon, he wouldn't actually shoot them, he'd just make them regret not listening.

"Idiots, idiots!" the woman's voice can be heard again before she calls out, "We're putting our weapons down and coming over. Is Dr. Adair with you?" There is the sound of movement as the six remaining survivors make their way toward the Marines. Sitting up from where he got knocked down, Cam hisses slightly as he fingers his left arm. Just clipped him he deduces as he lightly explores the wound with his right hand. "Thalia? It's alright, they're here to help us!" he calls back, offering his fellow survivors reassurance before rising up to his feet and leaning against a tree. Within a matter of moments they're all gathered, the rational woman Thalia, an older lady with touches of gray in her hair, coming over to hug Cameron and tut-tut at his arm before she smacks a younger man on the ear. "Bryson, you shot Cameron. Apologize this instant." To the still secure Van and Crowe, she calls out, "My apologies, officers." Well, what does she know from military? "The boys got a little antsy when they heard something in the woods. Thought it was either some sort of predator or one of those Godsforsaken Cylons…"


Cidra gives Skeeter another 'Help me' look over her shoulder.

The ECO just giggles. "Aww! Nobody's going to believe this without pictures. I'm telling 'em, though. Hey…!" Skeeter trails off as she checks her instruments. "Raptor Two's down. Looks like one of Pony's birds." Cidra cranes her neck out the window. Indeed, that secondary Raptor has joined them. So she gets on the wireless again, to Vandenberg this time, "Vandenberg. Toast. Our secondary Raptor has arrived. Status?"


Van watches their approach from behind iron sights. Cameron didn't shoot at them, thus, he got a warmer greeting. Take her time and looking them over, the Lieutenant eventually rises from behind the tree and looks at the survivors. "Don't apologize to me. Apologize to the other Marine. Now - last chance to give up weapons. Anything my Sergeant finds is going to become his property and considering he was just shot at, you don't want that." She points towards the forest floor. "Everything. Then he's going to search the men. I'll be searching the women. You can retake any possessions afterwards. Is there anyone here who is in desperate need of anything? Food? Water? Medical care beyond what Doctor Adair could provide?" After belongs are dropped, she motions for Crowe to start searching. Cidra's radio call has her cueing up her palmset. "Toast, Able Actual. Report six survivors recovered, ambulatory. Shots fired. No wounded. Searching now. Expected return in one five minutes, over."

Crowe is pissed. Not only did he get shot at, he didn't even get to shoot back! He waits till he's given the motion to search them. This time he's not quite as trusting. He slings his rifle over his shoulder and draws his sidearm in one fluid motion, moving towards the men, "Arms up, and spread your legs out." he edges closer, sidearm trained on the men he's about the search. Once they've complied with his orders he goes about searching them one by one, remaining silent. There's no need for threats, and if one of them actually tried anything…well he's trained for that, right?

They move and respond in orderly fashion. The weapons had already been put down before they approached, so the survivors allow themselves to be searched first before leading the Marines back to their small camp, pointing out the three rifles, resting upon the ground, along the way but not touching them. There are softly murmured apologies every time someone's eyes meet Crowe's before quickly looking away again. Cameron keeps his hand pressed tightly over his arm, the heather grey sweater there darkening with blood. Once they're back at the camp, he opens up his medical kit and with some assistance from Thalia, binds up the flesh wound with some gauze before redonning his clothes. They seem to have done well for themselves, relatively speaking. There is food and water available, heads shake when they are asked about any needs, and once everything is settled they gather themselves and all their materials goods together before pulling along a cart loaded with carefully wrapped up plants of all kinds and sorts, just as the doctor promised.


"Able Actual. Toast. Copy." Cidra's tone is carefully composed at the words 'shots fired.' Well, no injured. Far from the worst encounter with civilians she's had. "We shall be ready to take you home." And so they shall be, a pair of Raptors parked, doors open, and ready to head back to Cerberus as soon as their cargo returns and loads up.

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