PHD #446: EVENT - Just a Small Step Down
Just a Small Step Down
Summary: The Marine recon team is dropped on Gemenon. Things go according to plan…or so it seems. The Cylons are playful and cyptic some more.
Date: 18 May 2042 AE
Related Logs: A Lamb in Wolf's Clothing; Lampridis Briefing; various other prep logs
Quinn Marko Vandenberg Constin Lysander Ciro Circe Hydra 

The hangar bay of the great battlestar Cerberus closes after CPT Quinn's Raptor flies from its deck, navigating clear of the Fleet into a position where it can undertake its jump with minimal interference from the Ouranos Belt. Clearance from CIC has been granted for the jump itself, and the Marine ground team is strapped in and geared up for what awaits them on the planet of Gemenon. Even if all goes well they'll be left behind on a Cylon-occupied planet for 72 hours, nosing into toaster-filled territory to try and get some idea of what strange business the Cylons are up to on Gemenon. The plans have been laid as best they can, but the best laid plans can - and have - so often gone awry for the crew of the Cerberus.

Quinn is behind the pilots controls, her first major mission since broken leg and baby imposed long hiatus, but surely flying and jumping a raptor is just like riding a bike, right? One never forgets? Quinn is confidently at the controls, in her flight suit that almost fits like it used to do, if not -quite- loose yet. So far, the flight has been smooth as silk as she takes them to a comfortable distance away…

Vandenberg, face painted up in her heavy fatigues and gear, hasn't bothered to sit. She can't. If she tries she would probably need steady help up again. The woman clings to a handhold over her head by the door, watching her team. The woman is loaded down with more than a hundred pounds of gear for the team. "Alright, if we're ready for jump.." Her free hand gestures to the team. "Everyone, on your feet! Sound off before the door!" Her orders are barked beneath the low helmet.

Marko sweeps his eyes over his DRADIS screen, and, thankfully, finds it comfortingly empty of anything but the Fleet. "Okay, Jugs, DRADIS is clear." he reports, pausing to clear his throat a little after one cup of coffee too many waiting for the green light. "FTL is nominal." he adds. "Entering jump co-ordinates now." he says, and with that, he begins to type in the long string of co-ordinates he'd fine-tuned late the previous night, early this morning. As he stabs the XQT key, the Raptor's computer chews over the data, thinks about it for a few seconds, then gives his earphones an audible chirp. A friendly green light appears over the Magic Key. "Ready to initiate faster than light jump…on your mark."

Marko spends 2 luck points on ECM
<FS3> Marko rolls Ecm-5: Terrible Failure.

For her part, the corpsman of the drop crew is busy double checking her supplies strapped to her front, going over placement and location silently as they are making their way to the jump point. Circe is doing her best to ignore the fact she is in open space in a small craft. Yes, small craft vainly wrapped against the pressures of the black abyss. She doesn't dare look up at that front window where Quinn has full view. No. She again, counts her wrapping rolls to account for them all before closing the pouch and moving to the next. If need be, third times a charm. The medic rests one knee to the floor, foot pressed back to the wall of the Raptor and arm resting on her other bent leg who's foot is braced against the floor.

Mohawk haircut hidden by the dark brown operator helmet, Ciro adjusts his goggles into place and slides his mouthguard to chew between two teeth. The tan and brown warpaint that covers his face gives him a dirty, dusty appearance as he makes his way towards the waiting Raptor. He's quiet, he's calm, and it seems that he's made his peace with the Lords. Like a dead man walking, his steps bring him up the wing of the Raptor and to the door, pounding his fist against the metal before disappearing inside. "Sondray OK." He calls out, growling the words that are accented by the guard in his mouth.

Constin rises from the bench to grasp the standing rail at the call. Like the other marines, his face is painted with camo colored grease, like the others his kit has been checked and triple checked. The only thing to distinguish the big MaA might be that he seems a touch less amped up than the others. "Constin, up," he sounds off when instructed, right shoulder rolling in a slow shrug.

Marko spends 2 luck points on Not Dying!.
<FS3> Marko rolls Ecm-5: Success.

Circe lifts her head, "Lagana rolled and ready." She intones, only giving up her position of not looking up for that brief second. Then she is right back at her counting, good to know where she's got her goodies for this trip, her own colors showing over her face, warpaint by all means.

Operation Saratoga, who comes up with these names? "Mission top secret, destination unknown," murmurs Sergeant Lysander under his breath. "We don't know if we're ever comin' home. Stand up, buckle up, an' shuffle to the door, jump right out, an' shout Marine Corps." He gives himself a low howl and rasps away the rest of his cadence while checking over the single finger left uncovered by his gloves: his right index. "If my chute don't open wide, I've got a reserve by my side. If that one should fail me too, look out ground I'm comin' through. Hookin' and a'jabbin', slashin' and a'stabbin'," mutters he, "If I die in a combat zone, box me up an' ship me home. Pin my medals upon my chest; tell my momma I've done my best." The cadence comes to an end and leads into a, "Lysander's green."

Quinn arches a brow, not quite stopping Marko as she sees those coordinates, but she does hesitate a BIT to give the go ahead, giving plenty of time for the man to reset himself. "Initiating jump on three… two… one… and Mark." She calls over her comm and to the ECO at her side, calm and confident in both voice and body.

"HOLD!" Marko shouts suddenly as the computer, in its infinite wisdom, deduces that something is most assuredly not right with the co-ordinate string, despite it's previous confidence. The light over the Magic Key goes from happy green to blinking, pulsing deadly red! "Hold the jump! Co-ordinate string failure!" Marko reports. "Re-entering…" he reports, going over his previous entry. "Damn…..that was a little too close." he sighs, correcting his mistake before it kills them all. "Okay, jumping in…." he says a few moments' later, after double, then triple-checking things. "..five…four…three…two…one….jump.." With that, the Key is turned and the FTL drive fires.

Lysander inclines his head forward, looking down the line in the direction of cockpit; if only because they're about to die before reaching Gemenon. What a way to go, that'd be.

In a flash the Raptor skips out of the tranquil space near the Fleet. There's a reason intra-atmospheric jumps are generally avoided, as everyone in the cabin quickly finds out. The changes in pressure from the vacuum to the gravity of atmo causes the craft to buck and jolt in a way that'll pummel anyone who was foolish enough to forget to strap themselves in. Outside the viewport the blackness is gone, suddenly replaced by white cloud-cover, broken in patches to reveal the dusty reds and browns and yellows of the canyon landscape below, broken by verdant green that lines the river as it flows toward the famed Lampridis Falls that give this mission's destination its name. First part of the mission accomplished: they've reached Gemenon. Now it's just a matter of getting the cargo down to dirt.

<FS3> Quinn rolls Raptors: Success.
<FS3> Marko rolls Ecm: Success.

Oh -gods- that is not smooth. Quinn feels her stomach ready to come out of her mouth for a moment and lets loose a string of curses as she slams against the straps of her seat. Hopefully Vanderberg doesn't fly into the cockpit window, that'd suck. The moment her brain even semi-orients itself, she drags the tail end of the Raptor around and orients them straight into the the proper position over the drop zone, even as her eyes flicker down to the gorgeous, strange planet below. She breathes out slowly, memories momentarily flashing before her eyes…"…Next stop, Ladies and gents… Lampridis Falls. Everyone still in one piece?" She calls back to the others.

The sudden jump is something Vandenberg was like expecting - but not that violent. Her free hand reaches up to grab the handhold, her legs swinging out from under her and swinging all two-hundred forty pounds of her into the wall. The hit comes with a load 'OOMPH!' from her, her teeth gritting through it. Its all she can do from not being tossed down the line and bowling everyone over while her legs fly around. "S-THREE PRESENT!" she calls forward to Quinn. After a few seconds, she finds her footing and looks to the door and then back to Marko. "We need this door open, Lieutenant!! NOW!" Barked as only a Marine can. Her priority is on the actual jump and GTFO the Raptor as soon as possible.

"Oh son of a bitch…" A sound comes from the back of the bus seconds before the jump flashes. The sound of the complaining comes from Sergeant Sondray, his voice muffled by the protective mouthgear between his teeth. The FTL drive's spinning results in far less than a second's passing, and despite the strange, tingling sensation it's as if the dark of space has been suddenly replaced by a bright light being shined through the windows. It's as if a lightswitch has been turned, and suddenly they're somewhere else. Noteably…somewhere that isn't inside of a mountain, much to Ciro's sigh of relief. As the Raptor shudders with the strain he reaches for the handhold above him, pulling himself to his feet in preparation for the impending jump. "Where the frak did they get this guy?" He grunts, referring to Marko. "Delta-Mike. PRESENT!" Ciro barks out, hurrying into line.

"Whoa!" Marko shouts as he find himself subject to all manner of intense and unpleasant g-forces that threaten to rattle his teeth out and spill his lunch. "DRADIS contact! Two Cylon Raiders at one five five carom two one four, time to intercept, five minutes!" he calls, reaching over to slap the toggle switch to open the door. "Ramp opening!"

That rather rational fear of space is brought forward into a sudden gasps from the medic as the Raptor is rather rudely yanked about. Grabbing at the ground, Circe rocks to the side, slamming her elbow into the flooring but managing to stay relatively unscathed by the entirety. As they break out, she is hissing a little and drawing herself up as the view of Gemenon is noted. Huffing a breath, the long legged corpsman rises, shifting her back before lowering her eyegear over her hazel gaze. She rolls a shoulder, popping her neck as she calls out. "Lagana, up!" She says, bumping Sondray a moment as she gives him a look at his comment, "Remind me to ask that when you miss a shot." she lifts a brow and the nods to Marko. Standing at the ready, the call of present Raiders has her head looking forward through the line at the cockpit window.

Quinn swears softly, though she begins to drop the ramp. It seems their folks are going come hell or high water. "May the gods be with you…" She murmurs to their Marines as the drop procedures fall straight into place. "Flasher, does it seem like they've spotted us, or are they just following patrol?" She asks of the blips on their screen, though the pilot is still holding steady for that drop.

There's a roar of rushing air and a flurry of wind whipped by the speed of Raptor through the cabin as the ramp opens. Jugs is on point. The flight plans that were so carefully prepared have reached the desired drop-zone precisely, just on the shore of the great River Ourania. While this is no high-altitude leap, it's still a long way down as the Marines hang on their line and prepare to take the plunge. With the Raiders closing in, it's now or never.

<FS3> Ciro rolls Athletic: Success.
<FS3> Lysander rolls Athletic: Great Success.
<FS3> Circe rolls Athletic: Great Success.

Vandenberg spends 1 luck points on Dont kill me..
<FS3> Vandenberg rolls Athletic: Good Success.

<FS3> Hydra rolls 7: Success. (on Constin's behalf)

"Good Shit! Five?!" Vandenberg hurls at Marko. "Frak!" The Captain grits her teeth and looks back at the jumpers. "You heard him! Asses and elbows, you suicidal shitheads! Devildogs all the way! OUT THE DAMNED DOOR!" Van barks all of this at the top of her lungs before turning to the opening door. She tugs on her line once before gripping the edge of the door. Dear Gods, this is insane. Officers jump first and all but really? That ground looks awfully cl- Frak it. One. Two. She rocks back and forth twice to get some velocity to her mass before diving out the door and tucking her legs up.

"Negative, Jugs, these guys are on a definite intercept course." Marko replies firmly. "Time to intercept four minutes, twenty." he adds ominously. "Marines, Gods be with you." he adds as the ramp opens. "And thank you for flying Harrier Air." he adds before turning to start punching co-ordinates into the FTL for a nice quiet spot of nowhere in particular from which they can pliot their return!"

As Vandenberg jumps free of the bird, Circe is not far behind. The medic gives a rock forward and just lets herself go. Diving through air was just the same whether it was water or ground below - one just hurt more. Good thing she is strapped with a chute. As she breaks free of the pull of the Raptor, air - fresh air hits her and it steals her own breath for a second before the rush of adrenaline rushes over that momentary pause in senses. Suddenly her lungs fill and she is drawing her hand up, ready to pull emergency shoot should the need call for it but for now - colors she hadn't seen in some time play in mosaic of a long needed call from home, even if it isn't Leonis.

Ciro glances over his shoulder to Circe Lagana, giving her an arrogant smirk that dares to hide the apprehension of his first jump. His eyebrows knit together and he gives her a light shove, turning his head back towards the ramp. "Don't hold your breath." The last of his words are cut off by the loud roar of passing air and the press of bodies. He doesn't hesitate…he leaps. As he falls, he's greeted with a strange concept. He could simply not pull the chute, and with the surface of Gemenon he would find everyone he's lost. For a second…he considers it. The chute opens, and he's greeted by a moment of hanging peace before the ground rushes up to him. He lands in a collapse near the others, quickly pulling in his chute to erase the signs of his passing.

Blood for the Blood God and all that, Lysander is out and about to go splat - except he doesn't. He's a natural for being a flying brick and will land with the grace of a manly ballerina strapped down in gear ready to take on at least half a colony's worth if orphans; after all, Lysander is no one man army. He's brought friends.

With all the Marines out the door, Quinn lifts the hatch back in place and quickly begins to turn herself back to do their recon pass. It seems, truth be told, she has not lost her touch behind the controls after all. Thank the gods. She's smooth as silk as she flies through the intended course. "Start plottin' that jump, Flasher… we're back home before too much longer. I'd rather not meet those Raiders face to face…" SHe mutters to her ECO.

"Ramp closing." Marko replies, nodding his assent. "Co-ordinates for the first jump are already laid in, boss." he reports, "Let's get orbital and leave 'em scratching their shiny little toaster heads about what all this was." he grins wolfishly. "Gods, I don't envy those poor sods down there." he adds.

As the Marines take their line out of the ship, those Raiders continue to converge on the Raptor. Though Jugs and Flasher will note that no active weapons signature can be read from them. There's an almost playful quality to their flight, those sharp cylinder wings 'waggling' strangely at the Harrier. Their flight path isn't an aggressive one. They seem to be trying to take 'wingman' positions near the Harrier as it flies on its passes. If it senses anything of what was deposited on the ground, the Cylon ships give no sign of it.

Meanwhile, all that greets the Marines once they get their boots down is empty wilderness. Before the worlds fell this was popular camping country, and the landscape remains a thing of beauty. Canyons of red and pale yellow brown can be seen for miles off from the river, which flows clear and white on its own path toward the falls. Welcome to Gemenon.

The chute opens for Vandenberg and its like a kick to the sternum with all the weight she is carrying. An LMG, her rifle, ammo, gear, climbing equipment.. It takes her a few swings in the chute to catch her breath, eyes focusing on the ground coming up quickly. Okay, tuck to the side.. roll out. The Captain hits the ground and doesn't even bother trying to stay up. She rolls out with practice and begins frantically gathering the string of her chute around the brush. "Lead is down! OK!" she hollars out to the others. Her head whips around, searching the immediate area. The Captain is too overburnded with gear to rise on her own.

Hitting the ground seconds after Sondray, Circe is up, releasing that chute as she steps away from it, wind catching the strings and her hand lifts for her eye gear. Clearing her gaze a little easier, the medic is manuvering past Ciro towards Vandenberg. The medic doesn't carry heavy weapons, not on this trip and she reaches out her hand and down to the Captain, "Lagana here, Captain, hand up." She says, waiting in ready to lock hands and give a tug back, shoulder muscles coiling as she leans back to give the leverage needed to get Vandenberg to her feet.

Constin had been last out the door, barking at the other marines to "Go, go, go!" when their time was up. When the big man hits the ground, he finds himself a short distance from the others of the team. "Constin, here. Pick up chutes, team, now," he barks before going about heeding his own advice. First priority- even before getting his machine gun from Vandenberg, is concealing the landing zone.

Cleaned and primed to go, the marksman is. Lysander glances down at himself for a lingering moment in double-checking just how prepared he is but then he begins stepping forward with rifle slouching against his chest. He comes to stand next to Circe, glancing knowingly to her just prior to offering his right hand and forearm to the Captain in supporting lifting the overburdened officer back upright. "Let's get this over with, sir."

Yanking out his mouthpiece, Ciro sounds off in Vandenberg's direction. "Delta-Mike! Okay!" Whipping hand over hand, he quickly draws in the chute, disconnects his harness, and shoves the bulk of the chute back into the pack as hard as he can. Moving quickly, he zips the chute's pouch. "Delta-Mike, chute cleared." He calls out again, quickly freeing his rifle to provide the rest of the group some cover while they clean up house. He pulls his scarf free, wrapping it around his face and then pushes his goggles to rest atop his helmet.

<FS3> Quinn rolls Alertness: Success.
<FS3> Lysander rolls Alertness: Good Success.
<FS3> Circe rolls Alertness: Great Success.
<FS3> Constin rolls Alertness: Failure.
<FS3> Ciro rolls Alertness: Good Success.

"You got me, Jugs." Marko replies, giving a little bit of a shrug as he twists the Raptor's imaging package to record the Raiders' odd behavior. "Weirdness…Let's get out of here….This is a little too creepy." he says. "Co-ordinates string ready, standing by to jump on your mark."

Quinn doesn't quite give the mark to jump yet…"…They're… flashing a message…" She mutters about the Raiders, lingering just a few moments to actually get whatever is being said. She speaks it aloud as the light signal code comes the rest of the way in, muttering as much to herself as she is Marko, and for the mission report. "…Protect us… from the hand… of the unnamed? Protect us from the coils of the great… serpent forever? … What?" She breathes out, and then her brain resets. They should be out of there. SHe curses herself and gives him, "Three, two, one… mark!"

Scanning around, Ciro glances up to the Raiders in the distance and instinctively grabs his chute, moving in the direction of their objective where there is some more cover to be had. "We're clear." He calls out, eyes scanning the horizon as he maintains his overwatch.

As the Raptor flits away, its job completed, the Raiders continue to trail it. Still seemingly unaware it left anything behind on the earth beside the rushing river. The Cylon craft's flight path is no longer playful, but with a sense of urgency as they flit around Quinn, their red eyes flashing not with toaster gunfire but with…a message? A farewell? Gods only know. But as the FTL heats up, the Raiders break off their strange escort and leave the Harrier to head out of Gemenese space. Unhindered, or so it seems.

"Whiskey tango foxtrot?" Marko asks, stopping just before he turns the key. "Okay…..that's…" he says, shaking his head a little. "Um…yes, jumping now, now, now!" he adds, turns the key and off they go.

Once Vandenberg is on her feet, Circe is giving Lysander a look, lingering there before she nods to him. Giving a look about, she is moving back to gather up her shoot, collecting it swiftly and curling it into a practiced twine. As its shoved back into her pack with a twist of her torso, the corpsman pauses, looking up at the Raiders. Narrowing her gaze, she looks to the MaA, "Sure they are doing that signaling again. I am thinking that we are in the clear. They are being all peaceful." She says, covering her eyes to get a better look. She then begins to gaze forward, ready to move for cover with the all clear.

"Only mind I'm giving the tin birds is to be damn sure they dont make us on their way back, Lagana. If you can see them, they can see you, now get to cover," Constin instructs Circe, short and sharp. "Lets move, team. Now."

Lysander doesn't initially take notice of the Raiders with him assisting Vandenberg back up onto her feet and then likewise eyeballing Circe. Though he wants to say something and looks to just about say something his attention drifts away and is carried aloft in his looking up. In his watching the Cylons high above, he begins to back away at a meager pace towards the tree line. "Looks like they're tailing her to me," Quinn, that is, "Best be on the move, right? I'm all for it." See? He's all for it when Constin calls out, already moving to take point as per his norm.

And with the turn of Marko's hand, the Raptor jumps smoothly out of space and back towards the Cerberus, oddly quiet now, lost in thought as they reappear in the home air, so to speak. Maggie pulls them back into course just as smoothly as before, "Home sweet home… let's go report in." And with that she requests for permission to land.

"Protect us from the coils of the great serpent forever….." Marko replies, speaking more to himself than to Quinn right now as he tries to go over the message they recieved. "Oh, Cid's going to have kittens over that one." he chuckles. "Why do I get the feeling you and me are going to be spending an awful lot of time in the library?" he muses as he awaits the trap.

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