PHD #132: EVENT - Happenstance
Summary: Fortune comes in various ways.
Date: 8 Jul 2041 AE
Related Logs: None.
Cora Penelope Stavrian Sofia Heres Coll McCoy Sholty Diesel NPC Polaris 
Cylon Research Station — Auðumbla
Post-Holocaust Day: #132

It's hard to see, at first, but it's there — a speck in the maelstrom that is the atmosphere of the gas giant Auðumbla, concealed by storms of blue and crackling green. But when cosmic winds pierce that protecting veil, there can be no mistaking what Cerberus' DRADIS picked up not fifteen minutes ago: a bone-white station fifty-one meters in width and three times that in length, anchored in place on the planet's far side by eight repulsors now pulsing a deep Cylon red. Yet as the Raptor plunges forward through the surging mists, the defense cannons are as silent as the intel report promised, not even swiveling to meet the incoming Colonial threat.

"Creepy shit," chirps Daisy McCoy, her impish features scrunched in something vaguely resembling a frown. "All I hear is buzz, buzz, buzz — " From the static, no doubt, if the tiny finger tapping against the side of her helmet is any indication. "And all I see on screen is soup. Glad I'm the one sitting here and you're the ones going inside," she adds happily. "It's going to be a real chainsaw massacre, I bet."

"That's why you brought the guns, sir," is PFC Sholty's altogether too-eager response. "C'mon, Chuck, up and out once we make hard seal."

"Uh-huh," says the other Marine — Private Charles Diesel, another newly-minted veteran of the Leonis campaign. "Oh, we're gonna get some tonight."

Being squished into survival gear is sometimes awkward when they don't tailor them to you. Sofia fidgets a little, green eyes wide as she listens. A look to Sholty. She lifts her eyebrows at the talk, but for her part, looks around and listens. She squints thinking. For her part, she's quiet, glancing to the others. "Hm…" Eye.

Coll is parked in a jumpseat behind the ECO, watching McCoy's panel. She's got her mask up on top of her head while her eyes scan the readings in silence, an occasional tick of her eyebrow when something catches her. The rest of her gear is already on and she looks like she's sweating a bit in the get-up. Gloved hands hold a small black bag of tools with her last name stenciled on it in gray. A knee bounces anxiously.

Cora crouches near the front, where she can get a view out that front window, such as it is. "Better static and soup than weapons locking and raiders," she remarks back to McCoy before snorting softly at the ECO's prediction and replying dryly, "Thanks for that." She drums a finger absently on the wall near Heres' seat without realizing it, glancing back behind her at the assembled team, blue-eyed gaze flicking over them assessingly one by one.

They're gonna get some, alright. Tags spares a brief glance over his shoulder towards Skeeter. "Yeah, but you sittin pretty in here means you don't get the extra beer this time," he tells her. Nevertheless, his concentration remains on the task at hand… namely: docking the bus against the Cylon hull. Carefully, he maneuvers the craft until he's right up cozy against it. It's only at that point that he extends the docking hookup to make a nice tight seal against the metal hull. The sound of the seal is audible, but he waits for green across his board. "There we go. Sittin' pretty. If we're gonna do this thing, now's the hour."

Stavrian sticks with his spot in the back, close to the party of Marines. Out in the field, the PA blends in better with them half the time than he does with the Naval crew. His rifle is over one shoulder and medical pack over the other, a secondary emergency kit strapped to his left leg in very easy reach. The bright red caduceus on his sleeves and helmet are both beacons and — sometimes — targets. As the Raptor moves in to dock, he checks his kit one final time, casting a glance at the Marines and then back at pilot and Cora.

Penelope takes a breath, tucking away the prayer beads she's been fingering and freeing herself from her seat. "Right. That's my cue." She heads over to the hatch, checking the seals on her suit and her equipment. "It's going to take me a couple of minutes to get through the shielding, ladies and gents, but it shouldn't be a problem." Not for a snipe and her trusty blowtorch. She does a quick visual of the team, giving a thumbs-up and a nod before stepping out. Mag-boots clinging to the surface, she awkwardly makes her way to a likely entry point, kneeling and firing up the bright blue flame. The visor of her helmet darkens, automatically adjusting to shield her eyes.

"Alright, people," Cora says as Heres confirms the seal is in place, and Penelope steps up to start cutting it. She re-checks her gear, going through each piece with swift motions and then looking around the raptor again. "When she's finished, marines are the first out. Everybody ready?"

With the sound of the seal, Coll pulls her mask down over her face and tightens the straps to seal it up, wiping the sweat away. She still looks a little pale behind the mask, but what else is new for her? Gloved hands lift to drop the hood behind her head and she rises from the seat, the bag clunking with the sound of plastic and metal meeting each other. The weight of that sidearm on her thigh is a constant reminder of her last time in a situation like this. She lifts a hand and gives a thumbs-up to Cora at the question.

Sofia gives Stavrian a curious look, but smiles politely, glancing around. The 3M will help as she needs to, though she tends to keep out from underfoot. If anyone watches, they might notice a faint … hesitance near the blowtorches. "Let me know if you need me to get anything too," She offers, a helpful snipe(TM).

Tags turns in his seat, reaching for the gear he's been assigned. "Ready as I'll ever be," he says. He's perfectly content to stay back out of the way and let the marines do their job. Fact is, that's part of his job. When there's room enough, he rises and preps his gear properly, before then preparing to move out at the tail end of the party.

Stavrian knows better than to stare into the tantalizing blue of a torch flame. He watches Penny askance for a few seconds before looking away, also flashing Cora a 'ready' thumbs up. He stands up, pulling his rifle off his shoulder until it settles into a readied weight in his gloved hands. Mask fixed, he waits shoulder to shoulder with the Marines in the little Raptor till it's push time.

"You're the cheap drunk anyway," retorts McCoy, her bubblegum voice indignant — and piercingly loud, too, even over the sound of Penelope's flaring torch. "I'll keep us humming out here. And Tags — you come right back if this turns out not to be a plane production facility or whatever. Otherwise I'll get lonely." Pout. You wouldn't say no to that face, would you?

In the meantime, the Marines busy themselves making ready for the drop, until at last a human-sized hole appears in the blindingly white hull. "Sweet," come two voices in unison; then, assault rifles slung across their bodies, the grunts drop down into the station proper, making sure not to touch the still-smoking sides. Instead of the loud thud the soldiers might expect to hear, however, nothing whatsoever comes over the com at first — and then, suddenly, laughter, informed as much by exhilaration as by an audible note of fear. "It's like we're frakking flying in here," crows Sholty's filtered voice. "Can't see shit, though. Diesel, hook a mate up with a light?"

"Soon as I get my mag boots locked." And now there's sound — an audible clang that drags the young private down to what passes for the ground before the torch in his helmet flicks on. "Whoa," Chuck breathes —

For before him there now appears a gigantic black tub recessed into the floor, the water — or something — gleaming yellow under the light. And inside, naked as the day they were born, are five identical bodies — limp, unmoving, their skin the color of death.

Cora glances at each, nodding back at Stavrian's thumbs up and to Tags at his response and to herself as she checks each of the others. She's right behind the marines — not jumping straight in, but leaning over to try to peer after them. "What've you got down there?" she asks, before adding, "I'm coming in." Impatient, it seems. Light switched on, her hand hovering over her sidearm, she follows the marines down into the base, turning on the mag boots when she's as near to the floor as she's going to get.

How could Tags possibly say no to that? "Oh, don't you worry Skeeter. I won't make you have to fly this bucket outta here all by your lonesome." He flashes her a grin, though it's really not much more than covering up the tension of facing the unknown-but-probably-deadly. As the marines file out, he checks himself over one more time. Flashlights switch on through the cut hatch. He reaches for his own. "What?" he says in response to the chatter, bringing up the rear. "What?" He steps out into the blackness behind the rest of them, activating his own magboots and letting them anchor him.

Coll waits for the Marines to head out first while she secures her helmet, moving in after they've dropped down. She tucks a bit to avoid the sides. Those boots -clack- as they reach the floor and she reaches up to turn on the light of her helmet. "Holy shit," she breathes through the mask. One hand holds her Bag of Tricks, the other hovers near the Fiveseven. Its a moment before she can think to do anything else, but she slowly unzips the bag and fumbles for a moment and removing a Geiger Counter, flicking a switch to turn it on.

Stavrian follows the Marine grunts into the fist stop on their already-macabre little jaunt, rifle trained ahead and making a slow sweep across the room. Clang follow his boots with others as the magnetics are switched on, anchoring him not-so-firmly to the ground. Ballet, this is not. He wobbles his ankles once to test the strength of the dock and slides forward — until Chuck gives that 'whoa'. Coming up beside the man, he casts a glance back at the other crew and then at what Chuck's got in his sights. Thankfully the mask hides the fact that his just lost some color. "Shit, that's…her."

Sofia follows along quietly after the Marines. She tries not to giggle at the banter. Although she lets her boots anchor her, looking annoyed at the bounce from landing. Still not fond of that. She clinks along after the others and blinks at the 5 women. Buh. She tilts her head, not having been to Leonis. She squints, looking uneasy. Then she glances around. She seems to be curious about any wiring or vents around. Hmmm. Squint. Inch. Squint. It's an arduous, cautious process of peering while trying not to be thoroughly wigged ou. "Her?" She asks queietly.

CLANG! Then comes Penelope, floating like featherdown until the sudden, violent attraction of magnets to metal slams her boots to the ground. She stands from a crouch, checking her gear before her attention's inevitably drawn to the tub. She simply stares for a few drawn-out beats, saying nothing. Barely blinking. Then she turns away, the light on her helmet sweeping the room in slow, methodical arcs as she moves to investigate further.

"Her who?" Tags asks, then, hand easing his hand over his weapon, using his lamp to slowly survey the rest of the room. He lets his comrades deal with the tub for this brief instance, more interested in seeing the lay of the room and hoping there's nothing lurking shadowed in the corners or beyond an open passage way.

Coll slings the bag over her shoulder like a purse and free's up her hands for the small mechanism. She doesn't even have to remove the counter. A red light at the edge stays lit. She doesn't even seem to notice Stavrian's reaction as she doubletakes at the reading. "Sirs! Everyone keep your gear on! The meter is pegged! We're in max dosages. We've got maybe fifteen minutes before it starts penetrating our gear." There's a distinct urgency to that voice. "Whatever we're gonna do, let's get it done -fast-, sirs!"

"Who?" Cora asks Stavrian as she approaches the bodies. A camera is drawn out of a pocket, and she points her headlamp at the tub and the five women, snapping a shot, and then leaning in closer to get a clearer picture of the face. She glances back as Coll gets out the geiger counter, nodding in approval and then suggesting, "We should see about bringing one of these bodies back, get it autopsied. And can someone get a sample of that liquid?" She points at the tub. Coll's reading draws a grimace, "Frak. Alright. Marines, let's check out the next room."

"Saw her on Leonis. A few times." The wryness in Stavrian's voice comes over quite well, even through the comms. "Watch your asses, there might be more. On their feet." He glances at Coll and purses his lips, nodding to Cora. "Grab one on the way back out if we can."

A blink at Coll. She looks kind of surprised. A wince at it though. "Hopefully not," Sofia admits. "I can help with carrying if you need me to," There's an eagerness to at least help somehow, or at least take her mind off the radiation and freaky clones. She still peers around, considering the walls and where the walls meet. Hrm.

Tags moves a little closer to the pool, switching his light to see the inanimate face floating there. Yeah. Okay. Creepy. He turns his head toward Coll at the report and grimaces. Letting the marines take point, still, he continues slowly past the pool, toward the next room.

Coll glances over to Cora and then Sofia. "Wolfe, let's get that sample. Got anything in your gear? Not sure if I remembered my hydraulics vials." Letting the Marines scamper off, she begins moving towards the big black tub, holding her Geiger out in front to get a reading on it as she approaches. Source of radiation?

Cora turns this way and that as she moves slowly towards that doorway, letting the marines precede her as she focuses on getting her light on as much of this room as possible, checking out whether there might be anything else of interest.

Penelope draws her pistol, whispering something tense that sounds like a prayer. She falls into line, tense and alert — perhaps a bit too tense, as she looks continuously back and around. Above and below. As though expecting the enemy to come from the very walls.

"Oh, you need some vials?" Sofia grunts and reaches through her own things. Fortunately, Sofia seems to have a pair at hand, "Here. I brought two. Too many more and I'd have to squish things." Not tailor made this suit is. "Did you want to get it or me?" She offers, inching over towards the big black tub as well, tubes in hand. She's distracted apparently.

Stavrian motions the Marines along with a tip of his mask-covered head. His blue eyes flicker back to the five bodies in the pool, reluctant to tear himself away — but Coll's words are spurring enough. He turns on his heel, starting forward, but only gets a couple of steps when he stops dead, raising a hand into a 'caution' gesture to the ones behind him. "Movement", comes over the comms. "I see metal."

"Smart of the Cylons," says Diesel, doing his damnedest to keep up some degree of bravado as he moves forward, hugging the port wall while Sholty does the same to his immediate right. "She looks hot for a machine. Frak, I didn't know any better, I'd take her and her four sisters for a ride on my — "

"We've got fifteen, tops, so focus," snaps Sholty, who — having turned to snap at his platoon-mate — recoils as his right elbow brushes something soft and sticky. "Shit. What the frak is this — this slimy shit?" For indeed, clear goop is now seeping from the walls, shimmering beneath the light as bits of it rub off to cling onto his uniform. "Doesn't look corrosive," he reports. "Careful, though. Skeeter, phone home and tell Daddy Cerb we're going to need decon when we get — "

And then the private has no choice but to slam himself back into the goop's welcoming embrace as from the corridor there comes a quartet of what can best be described as miniature torpedoes, each slightly smaller than Daisy McCoy, propelled forward through zero-G by the small red engines by their polished chrome tail fins. Before some of the Colonials have a chance to react, they're taking up positions in the four corners of the room, firing indiscriminately into the crowd.

Cora turns to call back to Coll as it occurs to her, "Coll, see if you can tell why those bodies aren't floating, too. Strapped or anything?" Then she's twisting back to eye the corridor and rapidly adding, "I've got movement!" and raising her weapon towards it, other hand lifting in that same gesture Stavrian makes. She presses against the wall and calls back, "Drones. Fire at will. Obviously." The last is added dryly, and she takes a shot at the first, wincing faintly as she pulls the trigger and more visibly as she misses.

Coll doesn't take her eyes off the geiger counter. "You grab it real fast. Just one vial. No sense wasting two. Use the other for an air sample or something for the moment." The Crewman steps closer to the tub and stops at the edge. "You got it, sir! Hey, the liquid isn't the sou-" Movement! Lauren doesn't freeze. That short time on Leonis taught her enough lessons. She simply crouches in the zero G behind the tub, motioning for Sofia to join her as she lifts her pistol over the top to squeeze off rounds. Not getting shot-at seems to help, but that armor is just too thick..

Penelope is caught completely flat-footed, oblivious and out in the open — the rounds hit her hard and dead-center, knocking the wind from her and dropping her to her knees. She makes horrible, strangled sounds as she tries to drag the breath back into her body; her arms and legs scrabble frantically on the floor as she attempts nothing more than to get the FRAK out of the way. Returning fire, just at the moment, doesn't seem to be an option.

Stavrian makes it down to a knee just as a drone shot pings off his armor, the sudden skid providing just the right angle of projectile on stomach plate that it doesn't find its way into flesh. Muttering a very cranky: "Son of a bitch", he stands back up just as the spray of bullets goes past him, leveling his rifle.

Yikes. Sofia nods, and goes to get a vial. She almost gets smothered by Cylon boobage, sealing the lid and tucking it away. "Okay," She nods. Then her eyes widen. She follows along behind Coll, clunking ingloriously. Sofia doesn't freeze either, although that's born more out of seeing what happens to anyone who gets in the path of a Cylon. She is apparently caught quite off guard though. She moves after Coll and take a potshot in turn towards the drone.

As he notices movement down the corridor, Tags reaches for his sidearm, snapping it up to meet the light held in his other fist. Both point forward toward the corridor and whatever's coming through it. "Frak!" Upon seeing the drones, he, too, drops to cover, firing as he does. His round hits something, though he doesn't see quite want, flinching visibly as a cylong slug impacts the armor plating across his abdomen. "Gods damn it!" he grunts, bringing his weapon up to bear a second time.

The stream of bullets is only just beginning. Even as the two Marines concentrate their fire on the hunk of featureless metal hovering five feet above them, the drones spin toward the soldiers still scattering by the tank. Shell casings float lazily through the air, expelled from guns and drones alike to dance a magnificent pas de deux with their opposite numbers.

"Nice shooting, Chuck!" shouts Sholty from cover, poking out from behind a thick tangle of wires to fire once again. "And don't get hit — rads all over this place, say again, rads all over this place — so will you please shut off your godsdamned beeper, Coll?" Righteous indignation, that. Because really: the radiation sensor is going off like a car alarm in one of the sketchier parts of Southern Sagittaron.

Coll squeezes of another round and tags the drone square, center of mass. Then, fire turns on her she ducks down behind the tub as chunks and water explode all around her. Both hands grip her helmet down tighted during the explosive hell. Afterwards, hearing the call from the Marine, she shuts the beeping off with a quick flick and then lifts her sidearm back up over the side to fire again as liquid junk leaks everywhere - not like its not already all over her, though. She looks more than a little pissed behind that mask.

Take /that/ Cylons! Sofia takes a potshot at the Cylon drone she sees first. Alas, they give as good as they get and she oofs, hit in the gut. She wobbles, taking a step back and winces. "Ah frak!" Her armor's damaged. That's not good. But neither is she eager to turn her back towards the Cylons.

Stavrian is all for milking an advantage, of which he has plenty as the drones keep their fire focused on someplace that isn't him. He hasn't let go of that one he keeps blasting away at, having the clearest shot on that thing's chest. *BLAM* a second round finds its way to jackpot, but not hard enough to take it down. He sidesteps closer to Diesel, tracking the fourth drone with the barrel of his rifle and pulling the trigger again.

Bullets fly and chaos abounds, but finally Penny can breathe. She lunges to her feet, gone from no-breath-in-her to near hyperventilating. Even after Leonis — perhaps especially after Leonis — firefights are NOT her forte. Still, the adrenaline's surging now, making things sharp-edged and terrifyingly clear. She executes without thinking, taking grim aim and stepping out to return fire.

Tags squeezes off another round, smacking the drone in the chest as its attack swings around to target Sofia instead. "Frakkin' toaster," he growls, keeping himself low and behind cover, trying to avoid the goo that oozes all over Coll. He continues his attack on the one that first attacked him. "That's it. I'm so taking M.O.U.T. when we get back to Cerberus." Constin will doubtlessly be pleased.

Cora remains crouched against the wall, avoiding fire from the drones so far and squeezing off the occasional return shot. "Marines, can you see anything down that hall from where you are?" she calls to the men up front, "Prob'ly going to have to run back to the Raptor by the time we take these out."

Cover? Now that's an interesting notion, given the ease with which these drones maneuver around the battlefield. Their engines begin to pulse the same Cylon red as the station's repulsors or a Centurion's eye; then, they're simply gliding above wherever the Colonials they're targeting have decided to seek shelter. But the Marines have identified another problem: "This is bullshit!" screams Diesel. "Did somebody frak their threat prioritization algorithms in those frakked-up heads? We're the guys with the big-ass guns and they're shooting at the chicks with the pea-shooters!"

"Maybe you're not doing it right," is Sholty's only answer — before with a click he's released his boots' grip on the metallic ground. Shedding sticky goop as he goes, the Marine arrows up toward the drone in the opposite corner, seeking to slam it against the wall. Because in this environment, humans can fly too.

"Kinda busy here," Diesel says to Cora in the meantime, whipping his weapon about to cover his mate's impetuous advance. "Don't see anything down there, but if they had more, you'd think they'd send 'em while we're out here flapping our asses.

"Yeah," Tags says, responding to marine chatter, "but those chicks with pea shooters are the ones mucking about in the tank!" At least, that's his guess. As the drones start moving, he does, too. His goal is to circle around behind the frakker he's been shooting at, and squeeze a round off up his tailfins. As it moves, however, his shot goes wide. Backing against a nearby wall he raises his gun and takes aim once more.

"Frak!" Is Cora's response to getting pinged in the chest, looking down at the armor, "I think my armor's compromised. And our cover. But yeah, maybe it's the tank they're protecting." She rises as the drones float over them and then the marines as well, shifting position along with Heres to attack the drones from a new angle, aiming at round at the drone Sholty's headed for.

Sofia must've worn her magnetic underclothes. She doesn't have much time to regret mucking around near the tanks as she's put more full of holes than - well, something with a lot of holes. Possibly Saggitarian Romance Novels? Either way, the engineer's learned that she's not quite a warrior princess. Actually, she's fairly squishy and her armor's compromised. She moves to crawl under cover, and keep that vial safe.

"Second here, Lieutenant," Stavrian calls at Cora. Little busy on his end too just now. As Sofia goes down out of cover he sighs something about engineers under his breath and breaks away from Diesel, starting to zigzag his way towards the bleeder. "Crewman, get /down/." He's got a couple bullets to get through, edging as fast as he can for her while keeping return fire going. One more of these damn things.

Coll's round sails wide and she ducks back behind cover just as the hail of bullets explode around her once more. They won't need the sample tubes. The holes being blown in the tub or draining the fluid all over her uniform and suit, drenching off the plastic and exposed fabric, slipping into the small areas of her suit that are being exposed by flying debris. Seeing Sofia crumple, though, she reaches out from behind cover to pull her and help get her ass behind cover.

Penelope hisses a string of expletives as she's hit again, this time feeling a lot more than that love-tap to the middle. She fumbles her pistol, cradling her wounded hand against her body, falling back as she tries to take aim once more.

Coll spends 1 luck points on Like the BeeGees.. Stayin Alive, Stayin Alive!

So that's what they teach Marines at Infantry School: how to take down Sagittaran insurgents, Tauran strikers, and strange Cylon contraptions all. The butt of Sholty's rifle crunches into the drone's exposed engine, bits of hardened metal sloughing off in the sudden, intense heat. The hit, however, works like a charm — and soon drone and Sholty are smashing into the goop-covered port wall before he disentangles from it, that assault rifle of his ruined in the process. Stavrian and Diesel pump the drone full of lead until the red light winks out — better safe than sorry — but not before in its death throes its gun cuts a path up Coll's chest to plant a pair of bullets in her neck. And then, just as quickly as the sound of gunfire broke out, the room is suddenly silent once more save for the heavy breathing of the wounded and the unmistakable voice of Skeeter —

"Aww, fraknuts." What a curse, spoken in so high a register and with so much frustration that it can cut through the haze of a battle recently-ended. "Guys, I'm reading something big — kind of like a power spike, except bigger and the other way, just a couple of meters in front of you. Someone's turning off the repulsors and hypermagnetizing — "

Creak, groan, snap. The walls writhe; the ground flexes; water from the tank spills over the side.

"The hull in the process," the ECO finishes. She'll leave the rest unspoken.

Coll is just starting to get the other Crewman drug behind cover when those rounds start sailing in. She's got her back to the incoming fire, just glancing back to the Drone over her shoulder as she completes the pull. Its in that instant, the rounds impact. Tracers rip her suit apart, kicking a hole through her armor through her side. Another round hits her helmet, ricocheting off and down just above her clavicle while her helmet spins off and goes airborne. The last round cuts a clean hole in one side and a bad one out the other as he mask disintigrates around her face. There's no reaction or sound from her. Lauren just goes limp as the blood flows away from her through the zero G, the bag she was carrying shot up and slowly floating down her limp arm.

Sofia's not ungrateful for the help. She winces though, as the other Crewman is hit. "Coll!" She wheezes softly. Sofia's a stubborn one, despite the red shirt and doesn't seem to want to pass out or stay down. At least she's wise enough to stay near Coll and in cover. She looks apologetically at Stavrian. She either ignores her injuries or her brain is more selective than one supposed. She just. Won't. Stay. "Please don't…" She murmurs as Lauren goes limp and she'll make sure the bag isn't lost. Either way she doesn't seem eager to fight much more. Just… stay here. For a moment, awake with eyes wide and somewhat watering. She blinks fast, but she seems tired.

Stavrian fires on the drone until Sholty reaches it, his back turning on it once that shot's hit metal. Whatever the Marine's about to do? Godspeed, because the medic's now busy elsewhere. He crashes to his knees between the two bloodied enlisted women, yanking open the medical pack at his side. Just stop the bleeding enough to GTFO, that's what a medic does in the field. His hands clasp down on the worst of Coll's wounds at the neck, folds of thick gauze poking up between his fingers.

"Frak!" Cora repeats as Coll gets riddled with bullets from the drone destroyed just seconds too late, and then Skeeter's info comes through. And then, "Shit, what is that light?" She's looking down the corridor, and then makes a quick turn that way. "Get Coll and Sofia back in the raptor asap," she calls back, "Diesel, with me. I want to see what that is, then we GTFO."

Tags spares a glance back to where the wounded fall and the medic moves in. He turns back toward the corridor, as the hull and walls flex. "This isn't good…" He doesn't even need Skeeter's comments to tell him that. Hhowever, by now he's close enough to the corridor to see through the hatch… or at least to figure out there's something more coming their way. It's the glimmer of light that reflects down the cold metal. "Incoming," he says bruskly, moving closer to the hatch and crouching low beside it before he peeks around it to see just what the frak they're up against, now.

Focused on that last drone, Penny's shout of admiration for Sholty's heroics turns to a strangled cry of horror and dismay as she sees Coll torn to bits by its death throes. And from Coll to Sofia, whose fall she'd missed entirely, tunnel-visioned in battle. "Frak! Frak, frak, sodding mother-frakkers…!" Her pistol arm falls to her side, her complexion blanching white as everything around them groans and buckles. "Frak." Whispered, this time. Barely a breath. The light up ahead is like a slap in the face, however, bringing her around. The pistol comes up again, her expression set like grim death. "I see it."

It doesn't take terribly long to walk down the corridor from whence the drones came — a matter of seconds, perhaps — and it takes even less time to discover the source of Skeeter's concern. The next room is of similar size to the first, but where the previous one was dead, this one is coming alive. The entire place glows a faint shade of pink, beams of light lancing through the goop-covered walls like blood through veins. Its only furnishing is an upraised font built from the same metal that formed the edges of the pool by which the wounded Colonial soldiers are lying, the black pedestal turning translucent as gossamer sparks dance up and down its four-foot length. And standing behind it, youthful face contorted in horror, is the sixth of five — her unclothed body a canvas for whatever dire instructions she's transmitting to her station, pale skin covered by a tracery of not-quite-numbers, not-quite-letters —

"You've got to stay," she whispers, and her voice seems to come from every corner of the room. "You can't go back, not now, because if you go back you consign yourselves to extinction."

"Going to need help," Stavrian calls towards the front. He could lift Coll on his own no doubt, but not when she's falling apart at the seams. And they've still got Sofia here too. At the sounds of swearing and 'incoming' he grits his teeth, scooting forward on his knees ntil he's covered Coll's downed body, and picking up his rifle again.

Sofia refuses to lose consciousness, lingering near Coll. She starts to struggle up. It's kind of pathetic, almost like a dying bull. Just won't give up properly. There's a sad, apologetic glance to anyone who looks her way but - there's no time for self pity. She doesn't speak much though. Chest wounds are nature's way of reminding her now is not the time to use Wagner. She stops trying to get up though and huddles near Stavrian. Her breathing is wheezy, scratchy as her lungs express their due outrage and draw her attention to their plight.

"Unlock her mag boots and float her out," Cora calls back when she hears Stavrian. Then she's, you know, distracted. By the Cylon, on whom her sidearm is immediately trained. Her gaze moves around the room rapidly, and then she demands of the 'woman', "Stay where? Stay here? What is this place?" The questions are rapid-fire, but her tone is even, words clear.

Penelope falls back at Stavrian's call — she wasn't horribly keen on going into the light, to begin with. She keeps her pistol trained down that hall just a beat longer, then quickly holsters her weapon, turning to the medic and the wounded. "How can I help?"

"The bandages. Pressure." Stavrian doesn't have enough hands to float her out /and/ keep her from bleeding to death on the way. And zero G isn't the most codusive to easily keeping weight on something. "I'm going to release her boots, keep your hands here." He lifts a bloody hand and grabs Penny's, leading her for the neck wound. A glance cast worriedly over his shoulder towards the corridor, mouth in a tight line.

Tags edges forward, watching their sixes more than anything else. Still, as they make the next room and the skinjob speaks, his weapon trains on her. "Extinction?" His voice is a little sharp. "I thought that was your point." Sure looks like the toasters want them extinct to him. Still, in the back of his mind: "Time's tickin', L-T. I'm betting those rads haven't gotten any friendlier."

"The end to the war," says the woman, eyes rolling back into her head as the pink of the walls begins to turn a poisonous red. "Targeted modification of your genome — precise chromosomal translocation induced by radiation to enforce limited infertility among females of your species. Population control. Peace in our time." She can't help but look beatific despite the terror in her expression, her very skin glowing as light and water spill out from the fountain before her. "It worked — on my sisters, it worked, worked too well." Fear becomes sorrow. "And I cannot — will not — countenance the eradication of sentient life, not even yours."

"Um, this may be a stupid thought," says Sholty in the meantime, having grabbed his sidearm after discarding his busted rifle. "How about we take her down, break whatever the frak crazy creepy connection she's got going, and get the frak out of here?"

Sofia unclicks her boots, realizing that it might be easier to drift with it. Whoa. Sofia's pretty bad off, but some inner grit just keeps her going. For now. It's wearing down fast. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is - full of holes.

"Pressure. Got it," Penny responds obediently, doing exactly as she's shown. On some level, she's probably concerned about what's going on down that hallway, but she's got a process-oriented way of hyper-focusing on one thing at a time. Task before her — staunch the bleeding. That's all she needs to know. "Hang onto me, Sofie, luv," she tells Sofia, registering the movement of her fellow snipe. "We'll all move out together — I'll give you a tow."

Cora stares, squinting at the cylon as the walls change color and she talks and talks. A glance is flicked to Heres, to Sholty, and then she calls back, "How's it going out there Stavrian, Paris? You got them loaded up yet?" She gestures with her weapon, taking a step forwards, the other two meant to close in with her, gun still aimed between the cylon's eyes, "Then why're you telling us to stay?" she demands, "If being here right now's changing my genome? You get your hands out of that goop, you're coming with us."

Stavrian watches over his shoulder towards the hallway. He can't quite see everything, blocked off by Sholty's back, but he can hear plenty. It's not that far away. His brow arches sharply at what he can hear spilling from the woman's mouth, blue eyes blinking. "Frakking hell," he mutters under his breath. At the mention of 'sisters', his attention's yanked sharply back to the tub where the first bodies had lain. "We have to get one back. We have to get one back." The second repetition of this mantra's a little louder, as if to impress it upon himself. He turns around, reaching fo Sofia's arm. "Can't leave without you, LT," he calls down the corridor. Or, well, without Heres anyway.

A little redshirt balloon! Sofia smiles at Penny, "Okay…" Despite how tired she looks, and her injuries. Her voice is still a bit soft. Though she nods meekly and will do her best to push herself along with some help. It's painful to be helpless, but - sometimes one is the shooter, sometimes one is the shootee

See? Tags was right. Those rads aren't getting friendlier. He can appreciate Cora's desire to get this one to come with them, he's just not sure she's going to be all that successful in talking her out. Still, it's her op. He remains, gun trained on the cylon skinjob, though his eyes start looking about for some sort of computer panel or readout screen that might tell him something. He didn't take computers back in school for nuthin'.

"No!" the woman declares, before Cora can finish, and now more than ever a thread of panic makes itself known in her voice. "No! This knowledge must die here, must die with me, else it will never die — "

"Shit!" screams Skeeter, shattering eardrums as the station begins to list to one side. "Shit, four of the big repulsor things, four just winked the frak out and guys, I'm not betting against gravity — "

"Just let me cap her in the frakking face," begs Sholty, his fingers twitching on his pistol. "She's probably full of shit anyway, just trying to stall — just let me shoot her so we can jump out, and frak, there's five more of her back there anyway, we can just grab one of those — "

Penelope stumbles as the station lurches, trying desperately to keep her hands in place. She looks at Stavrian, sheet white. "Doc — we're going to move slower with the wounded…" She lets the statement trail off, but the suggestion is clear enough.

Tags edges towards the pedestal, now, gun still trained on the cylon. "Just say the word, l-t." Though, truthfully, he's more interested in the pedestal between him and the skinjob. Might be chipsets in there he can liberate, if he can get the damed thing open… before the whole coffee can goes tumbling into a very inhospitable atmosphere. He glances down, looking to see if there's a latch or seam, deciding whether there's enough time for any finesse. He's betting there's not. He gives the thing a good swift kick.

Whoa. Lurching. Well, wait. She's floating! Sofia knows what it's like and Penelope is stumbling. Taking a shuddering, almost gurgling sounding deep breath she leans back a little to help counterbalance so Penny doesn't end up face first. It's admittedly not much, even if it feels like pulling a car with her teeth to Sofia.

And the woman stumbles backwards with a scream when Heres does his thing, a bolt of electricity riding the hyperconductive water to trace its way up her fingers and arms. She sways, sways — and then down to the ground she crumples, the smell of ozone hanging heavily in the air. As far as the pedestal is concerned, it's a whole lot less sturdy than it looks — a product, perhaps, of whatever disabled the station in the first place.

"We're down to three!" Skeeter sounds even shriller, if that's at all possible. "Three and — holding, for now, but it won't be long until we're falling like rocks — "

"We'll be right behind you, Stav," Cora calls back to the medic, though her eyes never leave the cylon. Skeeter's scream makes up her mind, and though she doesn't appear at all pleased about it, she chambers a round— and then Heres kicks the pedastle and the woman collapses and she shifts, gesturing to Sholty, "Grab her, we're taking her with us. Tags you got anything you can rip out of there and take real quick? We've got to go."

Tags drops to his knees as fast as magboots and zero-g will let him. His gloved fingers fumble just a little with the pieces, but he grabs what he can and yanks it from the casing. "Can't guarantee it's gonna be any good. Let's get the frak outta here." He stuffs the chips into a pouch on the outside of his suit and demags his boots. Then, he launches himself back down the corridor, heading for the Raptor. Someone's gotta fly it, after all… and that someone is him.

Cora crouches with the pilot, grabbing what bits of electronics she can out of the hole he's opened up in that pedastal and then turning back to make sure Sholty's got the prisoner before launching herself back down the corridor as well, helping herd the injured onto the raptor if they're not already there.

"Go," Stavrian calls at Penny. He's moving as quickly as he can with Sofia lugged along, guiding Coll at the same time. "Diesel," he calls out to one of his Marine buds. "Get one of those frakkin bodies out of the tub. Wrap her up, truss like a turkey if you have to. Let's get the frak out and hope the pilot doesn't get himself killed in there." Onwards, with wounded. ONWARDS.

Sofia meekly moves with Stavrian then, so poor Penny isn't overburdened. "I … got the vial," Sofia murmurs. She does her best to help move them along, but she might as well be swimming in jell-o for all her help.

Go they do. She's limp in Sholty's arms, not that it takes much strength at all to lift somebody in zero-G; then, without another look back at the frenetically-blinking lights in the control room behind, the Marine is charging for the Penelope-made hatch. "Godsdamn!" shouts Diesel, who's managed to detach another copy from the pool, yanking the naked body free from the series of tubes to which it's connected. Brutal hands pay no mind to the fact that crimson blood is spilling out into the tub — from shredding skin and rupturing arteries, spreading like drops of food coloring bombed into a glass of water. "Am I the only one who thinks this feels pretty frakking dirty?"

"Shut up and move!" is Sholty's only reply, feeding his prisoner into a rather shocked McCoy who's standing at the ready. Then, the rest of them are piling in, not even bothering to buckle up while doing their best to give Heres as much space as he needs to get into the cockpit —

"I've got a jump plotted," says Skeeter, gritting her teeth as she holds onto her seat for dear life. "Don't know how good my numbers are in this mess, but all you need to do is disengage and hit the big red button — "

And so he does, his Raptor screeching in protest as he tries to wrench his ship from the station. Ventral RCS points fire as one, superheated exhaust straining against the shielded hull — until with one final effort the bird breaks free, having torn off one of her landing struts to do so in the process. But before she blinks off, the soldiers within might catch sight of something from her hatch. It's hard to see, at first, but it's there — a speck in the maelstrom that now tumbles out of reach, enveloped by a storm of blue and crackling green until it disappears forever into the mist.

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