PHD #447: Like The Fog
Like The Fog
Summary: The Recon Team moves into positions and looks down upon Lampridis.
Date: 19 May 2042 AE
Related Logs: Anything with Gemenon
Ciro Constin Lysander Decumius Vandenberg Tucana Circe 
Lampridis Falls
Nearly thirty miles across and fifty miles long, Lake Philomeides is the terminus of the great River Ourania that winds its way through the canyons of eastern Gemenon. The roar of Lampridis Falls can be heard day and night as two thousand cubic meters per second of pure fresh water pound down the red cliffs on its far western side. Below them rise gentle ridges covered with dense scrub and the occasional stand of trees, all of them crisscrossed by hiking paths and nature trails now partially overgrown. The wreckage of a sunken side-wheeler juts out from the middle of the lake, her crimson paddles covered with algae and barnacles, her two white-and-red smokestacks pointing down toward the surface. The words 'PRINCESS MARY-ANNE' are still visible on her stern, each peeling gold letter gleaming brightly on a beveled black plaque.

On the lake's eastern bank stretch the five marinas of Lampridis Town, only two of which survived the Cylon Holocaust. They're home to a forest of boats, whose tall masts and billowing sails lend the shore a splash of gaudy color. On its south-western side amidst a orchard of apple trees rise the great marble columns of a temple over a thousand years old, sacred to Aphrodite Pandemos — the Goddess of that Love which all people share.

Condition Level: Condition Level: 2 - Danger Close
Post-Holocaust Day: #447

To those poor souls cooped up in a spacecraft for the last year, more or less, the prospect of fresh air and sunlight, even on a destroyed world might be appealing. To this effect, the little party dispatched by BSG-132 is treated to a gentle ripple of the wind which ruffles the sails of the derilict boats bobbing quietly up and down on Lake Philomeides' mostly-still waters.

A sickly orange phantom of sunlight rains down, peaking through a haze of clouds which are just a little too thick, adding a bit of its hue to everyone and everything below.

Vandenberg has dirtied up her uniform in the dirt and mud they could find in the area leading up to the edge of the sliffs, even sticking some of the vegetation into certain places on her uniform. The facepaint is still thick on her face but has run off with the sweat around the base of her neck - which is meshed with dirt as well. Her eyes squint against the sunlight, her form lain out prone on the ground. To sit at the edge would be foolish.. she's sitting a bit back, peering at the town and the surrounding area with a notebook in hand and her rifle by her side.

Decumius is enjoying the nice mix of sun, wind and dust. Other people have security for once, and the former recon Corporal is laying on his guts as well, his rifle in one hand. The troop's bag lays a few metres away in a defilade, where the security is watching over the group's rear area. He creeps up to join Vandenberg.

With the team making a stealthy approach to the town, Constin is last in the marching order for the same reason he'd be going last in crossing unstable ice. Depositing the squad machine gun low against the ground, the big sergeant crouches low against the base of a tree to take his own look through the field glasses.

Sergeant Lysander has since removed himself from point duty now that they have reached their next point in their intrepid journey, taking the time gained in order to rest as much as he can. He's content watching the sunset and allowing the others to look more closely but a moment later has him shifting gears in addressing his curiosity in looking out himself.

Vandenberg has been taking notes for several hours on the position and what they can see through their binocs and the riflescopes. Each thing noticed is catelogued carefully with a pencil and paper. After a few more minutes she taps her brow and the sweat away with the sleeve of her forearm and she looks back around. "Alright folks, enough sunbathing here." She nods to Decumius. "You're on point. Lysander second, I'll bring up the middle and Constin you're our tailgunner." She slowly rises to a squat, tucking the pad into her hip pocket and picking up her rifle. "Let's keep inside the treeline as far back as we can, work our way south, but always keep the town in sight. We don't want to miss anything."

"Yep. Slow and steady." Decumius says, crawling backwards as soon as he's had a quick look for himself of the terrain ahead. Once he's off of the little lip in the terrain, he rises to a crouch and moves to don his bag. Then he gets ready to step off, taking a knee in wait.

Constin nods once to acknowledge the marching order, letting out a slow breath as he tucks the folding binoculars away and re-hefts the Zasta. Climbing again to his feet and shrugging the load bearing strap into place over one shoulder. With the town in sight, he says nothing until required to.

<FS3> Ciro rolls Alertness: Good Success.
<FS3> Ciro rolls Stealth: Success.
<FS3> Vandenberg rolls Alertness: Good Success.
<FS3> Vandenberg rolls Stealth: Terrible Failure.
<FS3> Lysander rolls Alertness: Success.
<FS3> Lysander rolls Stealth: Great Success.
<FS3> Constin rolls Alertness: Success.
<FS3> Constin rolls Stealth: Great Success.
<FS3> Decumius rolls Alertness: Good Success.
<FS3> Decumius rolls Stealth: Failure.

Lysander lifts his attention up and over as the orders filter down the line and he reaches aside for his sniper rifle now that it seems they are preparing to move out. He huffs lightly under his breath and murmurs something under his breath just prior to taking up from his crouch and moving into position. Onwards, he moves with a natural ease.

From this point out, the scans of the town ahead via binoculars are still too sparse to really indicate much. Which is incongruous with the recon data from last time - it's almost as though whoever was here, even on the outskirts of the perceived 'civilization' packed up their tents and left. This place would appear to be completely abandoned.

The sound of aircraft engines whirr through the sky, as little specks far above the Marines drift across the horizon at breakneck speed — Raiders. They pass over the humans seemingly oblivious, uninterested.

A little bit of sound and movement breaks the silence of the marina as a large, red-and-white houseboat's gaping red door creaks while swinging open and shut after a wave shifts the vessel. It's about thirty feet away from this distance, but it looks like /something/ moved inside there.

Decumius has been stepping on a few too many branches, carelessly kicking a few too many rocks and making a bit too much of a dust trail than he should - in short, being sloppy in his field craft. The frown on his face reveals that he knows it's not working the way he planned it. However, there's nothing wrong with his eyes and ears. As soon as he catches sight of the houseboat creaking, he raises a hand upwards to indicate a halt, taking his place slightly off the path and observing down his rifle scope.

One foot over the other, Ciro takes up his SDM outfitted GMAR and starts to creep away from the cliff. Scarf over his face and goggles over his eyes, he glances back alongside his hip to judge each and every step that he takes. He crouches low, settling himself half under a large bush as the Raiders rush overhead. When Decumius' hand shoots up, Ciro freezes deathly still, eyes scanning in the direction of the movement that he also saw, waiting for a report from Decumius.

Vandenberg, at some point on this random trek down to the waters edge(?), must have picked up a spot of bad luck herself. Just as Decumius calls a halt, she glances up and the rock her left boot rests on shifts and slides out fron under her. She tumbles sideways onto the ground, her magazines clanking once against the ground and she holds her breath, eyes focused on the houseboat before darting up to the Raiders. GodsDAMNIT.

The door flaps a little more and there's a little flash of the color grey inside the boat's cluttered, varnished wooden interior. There appears to be a great deal of junk inside. And as the Raiders fly off, the skies remain clear.

Lysander doesn't know about everyone else, but he happens to be in his element and makes certain that no one could ever possibly doubt it. He's a shadow to the others and with the fist lifted up just ahead of him the marine comes to an eased stop, glancing momentarily skywards. He moves in closer to a tree and places a shoulder to it just prior to adjusting his rifle and lifting his free shoulder into a shrug. He's silent.

From his position at the back of the marching order, Constin takes quick cover when the Raiders flyover. As Vandenberg slips and the rocks clatter against her spare magazines, the Gunnery Sergeant doesnt break cover to help her back up, he stays still, silent and continues watching.

Decumius reaches up to touch his shoulder blades - that means he's calling an officer, from where their dress uniform rank would be. Then he taps his head - that means he wants the officer to come up to his position. He motions to the door. His right arm holds the pistol grip of his rifle as he performs these motions and his eyes remain on his target.

Movement is the death of many, and Ciro's muscles are well trained to settle in place for quite some time. Knowing well that motion gives people away just as easily as loud noise, he keeps his breathing to a minimum while Decumius inspects. Reading the signals, his eyes tilt to Vandenberg's position on the ground. He won't move. He's no officer. His eyes turn back in the direction of the possible threat, keeping his ears alert.

The Marine Captain still doesn't move, eyes moving from the Raiders to the houseboat. She let's a few long seconds pass in silence before she taps her helmet once to get attention from Decumius, shaking her head. She knows she just exposed herself and isn't going to move just yet. A finger to Ciro and then to the boat, signalling for him to put his scope on that boat and spot the movement inside. She then signals for Elf to move up to Decumius and take up firing positions. Lysander is held in reserve. Van still makes no movement to try and rise until after Elf moves up. Slow.. painstakingly, so.. She moves to a crouch and lifts her suppressed rifle to the low ready.

Constin moves slowly back from the edge of the cliff to reduce the chance of his being spotted from the water as he steps in a steady crouch to position the machine gun toward the point. No words, no signals, just obedience.

Moving painstakingly slow, Ciro keeps the safety on his sniper rifle and reaches for the cover on the scope. Quietly opening them, he slides his left foot forward to plant its heel the ground and his right foot slides along the dirt to brace his weight, allowing him some form of a stable firing position. Lifting the goggles to his helmet, he raises the rifle in the direction of the boat, scanning it with his magnified scope.

As the sound of aircraft disappears completely, stillness and the sound of the wind and creaking docks, waves, and shifting boats whistles through the air and travels up the cliffside. In between the creaking of the red doors on the boat in question, the sound of — shuffling can be heard inside.

<FS3> Ciro rolls Alertness: Success.
<FS3> Decumius rolls Alertness: Great Success.
<FS3> Lysander rolls Alertness: Success.

Having already moved enough, Dec catches Van's motion out of the corner of his eyes. He doesn't acknowledge, but that's likely for lack of wanting to move more. His main focus, though, is at the point - through his sight, watching the front. He whispers to Constin, "Boat looks ransacked. Food still on the table, as if it was set after the rest was ransackd. Infitinty sculpture on the table. Two geese in there."

With Dec's signaling, Lysander inclines his head low and to the side in gauging Vandenberg's position. He adjusts further from his half-covered position in order to catch her response and he gives off a subdued nod before carefully easing around the backside of his tree and bringing up his rifle. He purses his lips together in his spying and then with what he's seeing the rifle is lowered briefly just so that he can glance to the others, both expectantly and questioningly, only for him to return the rifle to a firing position and continue observing.

Watching the cabin with his rifle, Ciro's lips frown beneath the scarf that covers his face. Lowering his rifle slightly, he turns to look at Vandenberg, knowing she's going to be watching him for a report. Once eye contact is established, he goes back to watching the cabin. His hand comes up, making a number "two"…and then he pauses, a confused look crossing over his eyes. He brings in his left arm to bend like a chicken wing, flapping it slowly.

Constin sets the machine gun's bipod quietly down, deployed for a suitable field of fire. The big man nods once to Decumius' lowly voiced description, before looking back up, with a puzzled frown. "Wait. As in 'birds'?" he whispers. Some people look amused, or childlike when they're confused. Elf just looks annoyed.

Vandenberg is glancing between Decumius and the boat, but Ciro signalling for her attention catches her eye. She watches his motion and gives a deep, firm nod. The woman taps her helmet one more time and signals for everyone to withdrawl back the way they came. This is waaaaay too damned close. She ends with a single finger pressed to her lips to indicate continued silence - even if she was the one with the bad luck. Time to circle wider around the town to a better position. This is not comfortable. While the others move out, she holds her low ready position, watching the boat.

The more philosophically inclined would note that the holocaust mattered little to creatures who couldn't comprehend it — even though it dooms them all, a goose does one thing when presented with an abundant food source. It gorges. Which is exactly what these creatures continue doing as the boat rocks to and fro.

Decumius nods very slightly at Constin, keeping firm eyes on. "Roger. I think people are gone. Else goose wouldn't be there." The tap causes him to look back, and he catches the Captain's order. He taps Constin on the shoulder, jerking a thumb back. It appears he's going to wait for the Gunny to egress before he does.

Lowering the rifle, Ciro slips the optics covers back into place to hide the reflective lenses. Lowering his head, he glances behind him and then carefully extracts himself from the side of the bush. Careful to not jostle the small branches, he chooses his steps one after another, stalking backwards in a crouch away from the cliff. He keeps his rifle close to his body, carried in line to hide the length of the barrel. He takes four steps and then stops, checking behind him again before taking another four, always checking behind his body and then glancing to scan the marina before moving again.

Constin grasps the carrying handle of the Zasta and once again lifts the weight of the gun as he slips back away from the waterfront, withdrawing in the direction they'd come, simple, swift, and silent.

Lysander is just a touch confused. That doesn't last forever. With a look to the other signaling, the man settles into a comfortable retreat back with the others rather than linger in watching geese enjoy themselves to free food. He withdraws just as silently as he had arrived.

Decumius drops slowly to his guts, leaving the position by belly crawling backwards at a very slow pace. One he's judged that there's enough distance between him and the ship to not be seen, he rises up to a crouch and walks like that the rest of the way. His facial expression reflects the fact that he's in his element, if a little bit rusty. He moves up to take the front of the group again, waiting for instructions on what path to take.

Backing away from any potential geese threats, the Marine Captain orders everyone back down along the tops of the cliffs and moving farther south. Following the same order, the woman moves along in silence while she beats herself up for not being more careful. A stormy expression sits behind the greasy, painted mask as they hike on southwards to come around the town and get a much better vantage point to look down towards the center of it.

There's no real need for speaking at this point. Decumius trudges to the head of the group, again, and holding his weapon at the low ready begins to move around in the indicated direction. His movements are slower and more careful this time, being that the Corporal noticed his faults in making too much noise last time. His head, as always, is on a swivel to the front and sides.

Crawling slowly into position, Ciro finds a place on their higher ground and slips out his field glasses, notepad, and a sketching pencil. He settles in with a nearby shrub for partial cover, giving himself a fair angle for viewing while giving himself some visual cover. His eyes wince as he works to find a comfortable setting, finally coming to a stop, ready to sketch and observe while letting his field glasses do the work. He starts by sketching the need-to-know about the layout of the town from this angle.

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

Finding the better vantage point, Vandenberg has settled herself onto a rock deeper into the treeline that allows her to still look down into the town. With her rifle and ruck settled beside her, she's lain out her notepad but is fiddling with the telephoto lens on the digital camera at the moment, trying to get it locked into place. It clicks while her attention is down and she turns the camera on and lifts it to aim down into the town and have a look this way - with the flash disabled.

The team can see the following in the distance from the overlook:

Lakeshore Way winds for seven miles parallel to Lake Philomeides' eastern bank. A sleepy street that forms the westernmost boundary of Lampridis Town, its sides are lined by clusters of buildings constructed in vintage style: private cabins for rent, bed and breakfasts, bait and tackle shops, all-night diners in aluminum trailers, and even a single gas station whose broken neon sign ('GEMCO') survived the destruction in spite of the odds. Alas, relatively few of the facades remain undamaged: some have been blown apart by bombs; others, wrecked by gunfire. The same fate befell the very heart of Lakeshore Way: only two of its famous marinas survived intact, each extending about three hundred meters into the lake. Those fifty-odd sailboats that could be salvaged or repaired are now moored nearby — available for the occasional pleasure cruise or private conversation.

At its southernmost terminus, Lakeshore Way intersects Highway 23, the four-lane freeway leading toward the rest of the town. Opposite the marinas, Memorial Drive stretches eastward toward the Sacred Circus. A green sign with white lettering points to the Cytherean Walk, a well-maintained trail and bike path leading to the Temple of Aphrodite Pandemos some five miles southwest.

Judging his position from Vandenberg and Constin, Ciro makes a few quiet sketches on his notebook, marking locations and numbers before he moves his arm to the side, ready to signal his command staff. He motions his hand to cover over his eyes, signalling that he sees something of import. He makes the number two, followed by the signal for a patrol, then the number four. Two patrols of four Centurions. More hand signals follow. Enemy, armed, VIP Eleven. VIP Two. Motioning quietly to Vandenberg, he directs her to locations to start taking pictures while he continues to observe, making more sketches.

Constin spares a slow pass of his field glasses around the terrain behind the moving squad, as he settles in low to the ground behind the others. Gradually however, his eye turns toward the distant town as well, taking a quick and semi-accurate headcount. He acknowledges Ciro's mute report with a short nod, adding nothing more.

Decumius is and has been on security for the last few minutes, watching people's bags and heavier equipment while they've crept up to make sketches, take photos and otherwise perform essetial recon duties. His may be a boring job, but it's necessary.

Lysander in his new position is busy taking notes, more concise and focused than his usual when compared to his writing.

The Captain surveys the scene through her camera, starting down near the boats. Working the manual focus on the camera, she aims down there and grabs several snapshots of the docks before zooming back out to look at something that catches her eye. She gives a soft 'Mm' before zooming in to snap photos of whatever it is she can see. The signals from Ciro get her attention quickly and the camera is turned. It takes a few seconds to acquire but then she has them. "Target," she whispers. Snap. Snap. Snap. Snap. The camera then sweeps back along her path and she continues getting photos in the fading light. "Got some small campfires down there, too." She grabs a few more photos and lowers the camera. "Alright, this looks like a good spot for tonight. Decumius and Lagana are on security, first watch. Ciro and I will be on the town first then rotate to security. Constin and Lysander, work on improving our position and settle in for rest. Restricted noise and light in effect. Whispers only. No smoking or flashlights. Everyone got that?"

Further investigation will reveal another structure. It appears to be some sort of school, judging by the construction. Or was. —

Not much is left of the middle school dormitory except bombed-out foundations and creaky stone walls, but a lot of work has been done to reclaim the area just behind it — the open fields and neatly paved areas that once served as the Academy's recreation center, not that much recreation has taken place in this area for a very long time. Indeed, a gaping bomb crater has claimed most of what remains of the school's Pyramid courts — a crater now filled sand and dirt.

There is a clue to what is in this pit. Beneath a canopy erected in front of the mound is a modest altar to Aphrodite, built from the school's burned marble and capped by a slab of Gemenese sandstone. There are more figures here - Around that shrine stand so many handmade icons and burning tapers, kept lit despite the wind and rain by a single Centurion and one of several priestesses from the Temple of the Goddess. Even Nature seems to be paying her respects — for the burial mound is covered by so many different flowers, colorful silent sentinels sent to watch over the departed.

At the head of this is a bearded figure in a rumpled tan fedora — his features indicate similarity to the other Twos who have been seen around town. Next to him is a man in priestly vestements — middle aged and balding. He was identified previously as one Brother Solon. And he is here, now, apparently involved in some sort of religious service. With Cylons. And other humans.


Decumius appears to be happy about taking the first watch. He nods an affirmative at Vandenberg's orders, grabs his rifle and stalks out very quietly into the woodline to find himself a good observation post. Once he's treaded about one hundred, one hundred fifty metres from the main camp and found himself in a very slight natural depression in the ground, he settles in. Fallen pine branches and other debris gets scattered on him, over top of a digital camoflauge blanket that he's brought. The blanket's handy, as it also eliminates IR signature.

Noting multiple targets, Ciro's field glasses come to a stop on Brother Solon, watching the man speak with the Cylons. As he watches, he glances down to his notepad and makes a small sketch of the school and the altar amidst the blasted out surroundings. A quiet sigh escapes his lips as he makes a few more notes, waiting on the ground at his chosen observation post. "Another VIP." He whispers, returning to his field glasses. "Brother Solon, giving a blessing of some sort." He frowns, drumming his fingertips on the rock quietly before him. "No sight of landing pad yet for their air support."

Constin nods once to Vandenberg's instructions, whispering, "Securing the site," as he goes about crawling backward. The big man will then begin the fine-toothed comb treatment of the squad's chosen campsite as the sharper eyes pile up the intel through binoculars and rifle scopes.

The Captain turns her camera back up towards the town and keeps snapping photos. She must have quite a few memory cards because she keeps going with it. Eventually she finds the dormitories and the religious service after Ciro.. and she frowns behind the camera. "Interesting. Religious Service," she mutters. "Makes me think they know we're here." She takes a long sigh and watches through the lens for a few moments longer. "They've got a baseship in orbit last we checked. They probably run fighter cover out of there. But keep looking. I want to know if you even think you see someplace that you could land Raiders at." She glances up at Elf and then back through her lens. "We don't need immediate security, gents. We can take it easy for a few. I'd rather make sure we're getting as much as possible with this light. We get busted overnight? This might be our only chance."

More surveying from here doesn't really reveal anything interesting or ground-breaking. At least not from this position. At some point, the campfire area contains some movement. More humans, and Twos and Elevens can be seen hauling several crates across the landscape, lifting them together. Again, some of the humans are visibly armed. But — at least for now, there is no commotion or bloodshed.

"Yeah, I'm lookin." Ciro replies opting to not used names or ranks white they whisper. "Lots of those Twos and Elevens, and if they're armed for whatever reason I'd bet there's more people inside of those buildings." Ciro whispers to Vandenberg, occasionally glancing from his field glasses to his sketchbook. "Religious services, armed patrols. Little bit of duality there." He scans over the faces of some of the humans and then back to Brother Solon. "What I don't get, is why they were so vague about the help."

Vandenberg continues watching from her perch, snapping more photos. "Yeah, seeing all this armament? They look like they're ready for something any moment. Think Saggie, Sondray. They left their weapons at home to help blend in. They'd only arm up when they knew there was going to be trouble." She snaps more photos of the crates, changing the resolution to get as high quality shots as possible. "I'd like to know why they're so cryptic, too. But this seems to track with a plea for help but I still don't like it. Either this is entirely legit or one helluva show. Variable weapon types.. this looks like a pick-up resistance operation."

"Give the nerd a few months, this is what it'll look like." Ciro murmurs, nodding his head in agreement as he takes his time, watching the civilians amongst the Cylons in particular. Noting types and scales of armaments as he goes, he keeps things quiet with the Captain, maintaining his voice at no more than a whisper. "Saw a setup like this at Sagwar, you're right. Centurion patrols should be enough of a forward show. Awful lot of crates they're moving around for such a desperate situation."

"Yeah, the Centurions look like they're there for more than show. Patrol patterns seem real and focused enough." Vandenberg gets a few more photos and then sets the camera down to pick up her binoculars. "Could be anything in those crates, though. Food, medical supplies, blankets, …munitions." She takes a long breath. "Overnight watch which fires stay lit the longest. Those might be the main guard positions. If these guys know half a shit about what they are doing, they'll have observation posts set up. Watch for movements in the darker areas. Lit cigs, especially." She's probably more just speaking for her own benefit at the end.

As if on queue, Ciro starts scanning the windows of the buildings and the spaces in between, focusing on where he'd set up a position. Every detail is marked, and every last spot that the sniper can imagine is given scrutiny for the first portion of his shift. Then he settles into the long watch, carefully observing the movements of the small collection of survivors, both human and Cylon.

A few hours later.

A few hours later the sun has set, the religious ceremony at the Academy has dispersed. Some of the fires are still burning but only a couple. The position has been improved a bit, allowing Ciro and Van told hold an overwatch position in a makeshift foxhole.. that's only a few feet deep. Just enough to lean back in near the cliff's edge. Any deeper and its just hard rock. All of her gear has been shifted over next to her, including the camera. The woman finally reaches into her pocket and produces a pouch of chew. She takes out a fingerfull and sticks it in her lip. Hawt. The bag is offered over to the man with her.

With his knees bent and his field glasses set up to allow him to lean in for a better view whenever he wants, Ciro has done his best to not get too comfortable. It's easy to do when the foxhole is about as comforting as a kidney stone. He lowers his head to the bag of chewing tobacco and then to the lump in Vandenberg's lip, an amused look on his face. "No shit? I didn't know that. Vandenberg dips, who knew?" He muses, waving off the bag as he reaches for his canteen. His scarf is down, allowing his painted face to be seen. He lets out a quiet sigh, almost content to be there. "How you settlin' in, V?"

The Captain snorts at the remark and begins jealously guarding the baggie, clutching it close. "Fine. Alll mine, then." She smiles primly and looks back to the town. "I don't dip. Not anymore. Used to in the field. Something about lighting up a smoke making you a big target. I could do that if you want, but when we get caught, I'm blaming you." She seals the bag and tucks it back into her pants. "Eh. This is about what I expected. No lie, though? Its real nice to be outside again, sittin under the stars. opposed to out among them. Nothin feels quite as good as an evening breeze."

"You can have it." Ciro huffs again, doing his best to not snort loudly. "I'm not the boss of you, this much is clear, but do you really wanna put that shit in your body?" He scowls, resting his shoulders back against the hard wall of the foxhole. He quiets once more, staring at the distance between them and the small, burned out town. "It's real nice." He nods. "Reminds me of a few places back home. Never know, V, if this place managed to make it through there might be others."

Natalie taps at her lip to seat the chew better. "Hell yeah I wanna put this shit in my body." She lifts the binoculars to peer our towards the campfires. "So do you. You don't want me going into a nic fit out here. I'll crush your head like a cherry at the slick removal of a fedora." She smirks behind the glasses, watching. "Been a lot of places. Carried guns into most. Never seen a place like this. Most of my time was in backcountry, but this is new. Almost seems like a little slice of paradise.. then you look at the bullet holes and bomb craters." She lowers the glasses and sits back, spitting to the side. "We had an eleven tell us there were some survivors on the colonies. 'More than we'd hoped, less than we'd dare dream' or something like that. Scary shit, that. I don't like it. It gives people false hope that their families are still alive. It ties them back to these planets. Reality? Psh. We'll never go back to our homes or find our loved ones. All we can do is appreciate the time we've got."

"You should can that habit when we get back upstairs then. Wouldn't figure a role model like yourself would suffer from the same lack of willpower, like the lack of willpower that almost convinced you to roll me off this team." Ciro teases, eyes forward as they speak, never leaving his view of the colony. At the mention of false hope and families, his brow lowers and his lips crease into a bitter smirk. "When I first started looking at this town I thought that I'd be thrilled to see my dad or Vanessa down there. Problem is…it doesn't matter if it's my mom down there does it? They're all possible Cylons, even if they look harmless. Maybe it's just best to put hope aside."

"I'm not a role model." Its stated bluntly before she spits one more time. "And that interview for the team was to push your limits. See how you stood up to having an officer throw something in your face and see how you took being attacked personally. No room for anyone else on this trip." She sniffs once, eyes focused out towards one of the fires. "Aye. Put it all away. I could run into the man I loved once down there and I'd still be just as inclined to shoot him as anyone else I ran into. I don't trust a lick of them down there right now. Everyone is a potential Cylon, like you said. That's why you have orders to ignore any orders given by military personnel that you didn't jump with. I don't care if you run into the grand admiral of the fleet - he didn't jump, he can kiss my ass until we verify him."

"Then don't go off walking by yourself." He replies, tilting his eyes in her direction to give her a sly look, lifting his eyebrows for emphasis. He turns back to the scene before them and unscrews the cap on his canteen, bringing it to his lips for a sparing sip. It's water from the Cerberus, something he wants to preserve. He screws the cap back on and sets it to rest near his knee. "Though it is an interesting concept…what you'd do if you saw one of them. Every time I look down there I wonder if I'm going to see someone I know. Even worse, wondering if I'll see someone who's up here with us." He leans back again, letting out a quiet sigh. "Best tactic the Cylons ever had was figuring out how to make us not want to turn our backs to eachother."

"Nobody goes anywhere alone. Travel in pairs or triples. Even to use the head." Vandenberg swipes a finger at her nose, sniffling. The temperature has already begun to drop towards 'cool'. "If I saw someone I knew, they'd get a long hard look and some interesting questions. I'm pretty sure they don't know we're here - but if they even had one of our names? That's all it would take. One of their models could buddy up and talk about our friends.. say they mentioned us in passing." She shakes her head. "I wouldn't worry about seeing one of us down there. If we do?" She shrugs. "So what? We identify them. Remember, we're here to prove that its a trap or for them to prove otherwise. They want to kill us? They prove our suspicions. If we ident a new humanoid model.. all the better. That's why you can't fear this stuff. Just give your trust on a personal level. Look for suspicious activity, sure.. but stressin on that is no way to live. You do? And the Cylons win."

Reaching to his forehead, Ciro scratches at a spot where his mohawk meets his scalp beneath his helmet. He's careful to not displace any of his warpaint. He settles in against the cold, squaring his jaw while he considers her words. "I think you're right. At this point we shouldn't really be worried about anything that we see, instead we should just…keep quiet, keep an eye out, and be grateful we've got the chance to get some solid ground underneath." He folds his arms, sensing the impending cold. "Better than Sagittaron by far, you're right about that."

Vandenberg reaches into her ruck beside her and pulls out her blanket, tucking it around and under herself. She quickly looks like a brunette burrito. "I'm happy as hell right here." Her eyes lift from the campfires in the distance towards the stars. "I used to love climbing and camping with my friends growin up. We'd storm all over the mountains and set up camp in obscene places. Get trashed, smoke grass, make a night of it. Good friends and good memories." She smiles easily, eyes drifting back down. "I got off Sag before it got too bad. I think I left there right before you were sent out. Our unit shuffled out to Tauron and I spent a couple years alogging it there. Made me miss Sag."

"I didn't do the mountains so much, at least before Vanessa and I met. She was a climber, so she opened me up to it. She conned Dixon and I to get qual'd. Dixon was my old spotter, went with me to Sag." He paints a few points, tying things together for the Captain so that he's not just throwing out vague details. "Did pretty much the same thing, only on the beaches up where you and Gunny came from. We'd drive around until we found some decrepit looking place, set down the cooler, start drinkin…" He smirks, reaching for his canteen. "Survived my first drop. There some sort of medal for that?"

"Yeah? Climbings good stuff. I got into mountaineering when I was a teenager. Did my first fourteener at fifteen." Fourteen thousand foot peak. "After that? I never looked back. Being with the seventy-third mountain was a joy for me. Sounds like it was a good lady, though. Any woman who can get her man into climbing is doing right." Van smirks before she spits into the dirt beside her. "Bah. We didn't have beaches up there. At least nothin' worth going to. Mostly lakeshores from snowmelt. Kirtland City's up near the pole. Beaches are all rock and the water is freezing." To his last she chuckles. "You get airborne tabs. Maybe. You'll have to ask Gunny. This is my first combat but my second jump. Did a practice jump on Aerilon back when they first pulled me up in October."

"Oh so you guys were way up there, for some reason I thought you were further down the western rim. Nevermind that then, no I didn't make it up that far. We stuck to the warmer parts." Ciro admits from his position beside her in the foxhole, taking another sip from his canteen. Twitching his nose from side to side, he screws the cap back on and leans forward, taking a few moments to observe while they speak. "So did Gunny tell you that we saw some wildlife? There were those geese at the boat, but on the way up we saw a deer. If they're surviving this, there's probably food to be found here that isn't dehydrated mash."

"Nope. My stompin grounds were far enough north to get blizzards and white-outs a few months of the year." Another spit, the sound of impacting the dirt soft. "Nope, he didn't mention that." She exhales heavily as if trying to see her breath. "So the motion for the birds. Didn't know about the deer. That's telling." She dips her chin forward, half burying her face into the blanket with her eyes looking out from under the brim of her helmet. "That means that either they don't come up here to hunt, or that the food supply down there doesn't have them obliterating the local wildlife to survive. It also means that rad levels aren't bad enough to kill small animals a year down the line. Mm. Remind me that we need to check our Geiger counter tomorrow."

Watch point had been taken by the medic and upon the conclusion she had found nothing. Silent and undisturbed, letting the Gunny take her place. Filing back into the cover in silence. Lowering her pack a moment, she shrugs it off belatedly, sliding it to the ground with a wince. A run of her hand through her hair and a sigh as she grips a rock, lowering herself slowly to sit. Her leg hurts, aches rather and the days of trekking through the wildnerness had really tested the resilience of her recovery.

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