PHD #087: EVENT - No-Leaf Clover
No-Leaf Clover
Summary: The Eidolon Bravo group strikes camp and makes for the H-Train tunnels.
Date: 2041.05.24
Related Logs: All Leonis logs.
Bannik Kulko Laskaris Lunair Samuel Sitka Tisiphone Trask Tucana NPC 

Morning has broken and by now, faded to early afternoon as the ruined skyline of Kythera still looms before the group, taunting them with its presence. It's not going anywhere. Since the team has fled the evac scene, the air has remained eerily calm and quiet except for the occasional sharp gust of wind. For now, the Cylons have not pressed their position on the group. Whatever they've been waiting for, they're still waiting. Then again, it's not like machines have a timetable.

Kulko stands near the edge of the refugee camp, tightening the straps of his armor. His pack is near overflowing with military-issue mprovisions and ammunition, and the group needs no longer bear any wounded. Thus, on the move they go. Stephen looks out over the remnants of the camp, awaiting the group's assembly. He idly scratches at the stubble on his face, just bordering on long enough to be bothersome.

Samuel has all his equipment and all other things he's needing to carry. Moving over in Kulko's direction, he offers the officer a bit of a grin, "Will be nice to get a change of scenery, wouldn't it, sir?" The comment is made with a bit of a grin.

Tisiphone is perched on a massive chunk of blasted marble, going through her freshly-reloaded pack of supplies (we love you long time, Cerberus!) for the umpteenth time. Her head is covered with a dark red bandana and beneath the borrowed combat armour is one of her other spoils from Saturday morning's raid on a shopping mall — a garishly pink T-shirt with BOOTYLICIOUS written across the front. In rhinestones. At least it's clean, is her only defense of her choice in attire. That, and a lot of snickering. At least she's amusing herself.

Ever since the departure of Quinn, there has been a shift in Trask's bearing. The man, simply put, is somewhat cranky. There is an undercurrent of sharpness to even his cheekiest and most blithe comments, and he occupies a fair amount of time with what surely must seem like completely uncharacteristic bouts of brooding. Despite this, he remains on point. It simply is that the grimness of his determination is no longer kept below the surface. Not so much of a marksman when not firing Raptor weaponry, he's assumed the role of Quartermaster.

Lasher's apparently raided the store of fresh clothing as well. He's exchanged his own tattered uniform for a black t-shirt featuring the garish logo of a Tauron metal band that broke up decades ago. With a grunt, he grabs his stuffed-to-the-gills pack, slinging it over his shoulders. The captain trudges through what's left of the camp, altering his course as he sees Kulko out of the corner of his eye. "LT."

Kulko hefts his pack over one shoulder in preparation for departure. "Damn sure it will, Corporal. Not as welcome as some deck plating and bulkheads'll be, though." Lasher's approach is regarded with a brisk nod. "Captain. All squared away and shipshape?"

"Quite true, sir. Not to mention the chance to get a proper night's undisturbed sleep," Samuel offers at Kulko's words, before he looks to Laskaris, "Nice t-shirt, sir," he offers. A glance over at Trask as well, having noted the man's crankiness and brooding. Making a mental note about that. Glancing all around once more.

The other viper Captain, otherwise known as the Petrels' big cheese, is hunkered down on the ground and in the process of shoving things into his own pack. A cigarette dangles from his mouth, one of the sundry spoils of the group's mall raid. The tee shirt he's appropriated is a garish bright orange, and a size or two too small on his somewhat bulky frame. He's kept the dark combat fatigues, but hasn't yet pulled on the associated helmet and body armour.

Tisiphone lights up a cigarette — O Nicotine, how she missed you, she'll never do you wrong again — as she looks over toward Kulko and Laskaris. Her gaze flicks between the two men for a moment before sliding away and across the river. She pulls her pack's shoulderstraps up, and buckles them across her chest.

"Lookin' that way." Lasher nods to the lieutenant. A thin smirk goes to Samuel. "Innit, though?" he replies with a short chuckle, before turning back to Kulko. A cigarette is lit, and he offers the pack wordlessly to the lieutenant and the corporal as he fishes for a lighter. "Need to bend your ear a minute." Alone, is the unspoken implication. There's a brief pause, and Lasher turns away, taking a few steps further away from the camp.

Interrupting the still air is a loud POP, POP, POP sound somewhere nebulously to the southeast, somewhere off Mulberry road. And then the sound of something else rumbling. And then all is still.

"Pop quiz," Trask idly snarks. "Now, boys and girls, who can tell we what it means when we hear sounds like that? Anyone?" He's been packed and ready to go for quite a while, and his patience appears to be coming to an end.

Ashwood himself has been scoping out the horizon, staring off into space and talking to one of his crew. The sound of loud, chemically-triggered destruction snaps him out of his reverie. "Homygods that sounds close!"

Kulko starts to follow Laskaris, but pauses mid-stride as the sounds of gunfire echo in the distance. "Hold that thought, Cap." Stephen makes a little one-finger whirl in the air. "Those sounded semi-auto… least, some of 'em did. Means someone's shootin' at the toasters. Let's mount up, check it out."

Sitka pauses in the midst of his rummaging and jerks his head toward the southeast, brows dropping in a furrowed, contemplative expression. "The frak?" he mutters to himself, picking up the pace with shoving things into his pack and then hauling it off the ground. A glance is shot toward Kulko and Laskaris as the former speaks, and his brows furrow a little bit more.

"Means we should be legging it hours ago, Sir," Tisiphone replies promptly to Trask, full of brittle faux-chipperness. She, much like the ECO, has been cagey since last night's wounded evac. Well. Even more cagey than she'd been all week. She pulls a deep drag off her cigarette, blows the smoke out, then pushes off her perch to join the group.

Samuel pauses a little bit, as he listens, "Both toasters and humans, it would seem…" Another brief pause as he starts looking in that direction, "Looks to be something headingh in this general direction. An animal, it seems. Came out of one of those side streets, I think." The last said with a bit of a grimace. Bring the Cylons, but not those dangerous animals.

Lasher hears it too, and his eyes narrow as he looks off into the distance. He turns around at the sound of Kulko's voice behind him, nodding. "Yeah. Hear it too." He exchanges his pack for his rifle, shooting a look Trask's way but says little else as he takes a powerful drag from his recently lit cigarette before putting it out. "Sounds like someone's honked off the bulletheads, wot?"

The figure in the distance that Samuel just pointed out gets closer. There's another sound of gunshots now. /Human/ gunshots. And then silence. Meanwhile, that animal jumps after hearing the sound. It can be made out in the distance. It's a shaggy, large, A big one. It gets closer. Now, it looks like it's running vaguely towards the camp. Or running /away/ from something.

"Very good, Apostolos," is the ECO's dry praise. "You get a shiny star sticker." Meanwhile, he readies his rifle. More gun shots? Lovely. In vain, Trask squints at the human form in the distance, unable to make out any facial details. As the dog comes a-running, though, he quips, "Someone cover Blaine."

Sitka ditches his pack onto the ground when he hears the sound of scuffling, then a glimpse of shaggy fur bolting toward their camp. His pistol's drawn from its thigh holster, in lieu of the rifle lying beside his pack, and the safety thumbed off with a -click-. "Eyes on the perimeter, guys," he advises Trask and Tisiphone in a low murmur.

"Enemy of my enemy, an' all that. We ought to lend a hand." Kulko unslings his own rifle and makes for the nearest building, picking an opportune doorway to flatten himself up against. "Advance in cover, y'all."

"The Hell?!" Ashwood barks, as he sees the little group react. His first reaction is a smart one. He runs his ass to a small clump of large evergreen trees at the edge of the makeshift location, gesturing for his crew to follow. They do. How brave.

Meanwhile, Ashwood isn't the only one barking. That dog comes running towards the crew, within range, and it starts barking its head off.

"You've got the job, sir," Samuel comments with a grin to Trask, before he looks towards the dog, a bit quietly. "Nice breed of dogs, those. My uncle used to have one of those back in the days…" A momentary grimace as he thinks back, until he hears the dog start to bark, "Sssh," he offers to it, starting to whistle softly, and quietly.

A shiny star sticker to add to the rhinestones and hot pink sleeves peeking out from beneath her cumbersome armour. Tisiphone will be the Brightest Ensign Ever. She glances sidelong to Sitka, nodding once to him, before starting to move along with the group. Once the riverbank's cliffs are ascended and they reach the blasted cityscape proper, she shoulders her rifle, fingers a little too tight on the grip. They can't leave this city block behind fast enough for her.

The dog's barking gets louder as the wolfhound rears up and digs its paws into the ground in sight of the advancing Colonials. Its head goes up in the air as it stares up at whoever's on point.

Sitka snags a shoulder strap of his pack, and hauls it up off the ground as the group moves out. His rifle's strapped to it, but his pistol's kept out and un-safetied while he brings up the rear.

Kulko snaps his fingers a couple of times the dog's way. "Hey, pup," he responds in a hushed tone. "What's got you all spooked? Seen some tin cans, yeah?" At a brisk walk, he approaches the dog, offering a hand in scent-greeting and friendship.

Lasher advances with his rifle at the ready, sidled up against the side of a building. He stops, frowning as the agitated dog stares at the column of advancing Colonials, barking and carrying on. He's got a bit of experience with the breed from the old country, though, and he recognizes enough not to be worried as Kulko approaches the animal. A moment later he looks back to the horizon, continuing to search for the source of the gunfire.

"For your sake, then," Trask tells Samuel, "I hope it's not rabid." That the dog is acting up doesn't put the man at ease. Mice and rats are pretty much the animals the Taurian grew up with — and not the domesticated kind. This might be why his line of fire is aimed to keep Kulko covered.

Samuel follows after Kulko, while looking around carefully for now. "Don't worry," he offers towards Trask. "This one looks like a well-trained one, really. Looks like it's trying to tell us something, I guess." Looking back to Kulko and the dog now.

At Kulko's approach, the dog barks again but is seriously reluctant to get too close, rearing back and growling a little territorial bark. No bite, just a warning. He holds his ground. In fact, that's all he's doing here. /However/. As the Colonials move forward, he will in fact circle around and start walking with them, criss-crossing and weaving a path behind. Congratulations, fools, you are being herded.

Ashwood puts up his rifle, licks his lips nervously and gestures towards his companions to fall in with the others.

If Tisiphone could pace while slightly crouched to keep the same height as the blasted-out vehicles, she'd do so. There's a cluster of three or four cars that she's snooping around, attention divided between the cracked pavement, Kulko, and the direction in which the echoing gunfire came from. She finally forces herself to stop, leaning her shoulder into the side of an airbrushed pickup truck that never saw a splash of mud in its life.

Kulko rises back up as the dog backs away, returning his rifle to the ready. He's done enough herding himself to know it when he sees it. "Alright. Let's keep it quiet. Corporal, up front with me. Rest of y'all keep us covered." And he's back to advancing along the sides of the nearest buildings, enjoying the safety of concrete at his back.

"What the frak is it doing?" No, really. Even though he always wanted a dog, Trask doesn't know more than they like to eat, screw, chew, shit, pee, and slobber. "Is it having some kind of seizure?" With furrowed brow, he continues to cover the two men and the pooch.

Sitka hunkers down against the side of a burned-out husk of car, whose engine's entrails have exploded messily at some point, and whose occupants are still inside rotting away in the afternoon sun. He keeps his eyes off the cabin, and on the advancing pair of Lieutenant and Corporal, stowing his pistol now in order to switch to his rifle.

"I think he wants some bacon. Man. I want some bacon." One of Ashwood's crewmembers says, only to get a sharp handwave and a hiss from his boss. "Shut the frak up and move!" He echoes Kulko's statement as the little group moves back over into the shadow of some seriously ruined genericondo, gingerly stepping around the junk car Sitka is settled at.

There is more gunfire again. Not Cylon anymore. /Human./ It's a series of pistol shots cut off by submachine gun fire. And then, silence. It will take a couple minutes to get there, both people and dog. And for better or worse, Fido looks like he's found a pack to roll with.

Laskaris looks vaguely amused as he recognizes what the dog is doing. As it passes by him, the pilot's eyes fall to the dog's belly. Not exactly a starving stray, this one. "Got some friends, do you, boy?" he murmurs as he passes around a knocked-over dumpster. Lasher frowns at the brief stench, cursing with distaste as several cockroaches skitter into the thing through a rusted out hole near the bottom of the dumpster's frame. His pace quickens a bit as he hears another burst of gunfire.

Samuel nods a little bit as he hears Kulko's words, "Yes, sir." Moving forward with Kulko for now, moving forward with the help of whatever obstacles he can find in his way. Nodding a bit at the gunfire for now, his hands goes over the rifle, making sure everything's ready.

"It's trying to herd us, Sir. Guess he figures we're goats." Snort. Tisiphone broods over some old stain on the pavement a few moments longer before pushing up from her lean. She pulls the final drag off her cigarette, looking back over her shoulder as she blows the smoke out and flicks the smouldering butt back toward the spot she just left. Good riddance, Eternal Bridge. She continues along with the group in tense silence, fingers white-knuckling briefly at the fresh sounds of gunfire.

"Oh, yeah?" Trask is enlightened. He also cracks, "Straight into gunfire, eh?" Keeping to what cover that is to be found, the ECO follows, examining the perimeter.

As the group makes its way closer towards the source, the dog quickens its pace, its steps bounding, frantic, excited. There's a trashed bodega on one corner, with the charred remains of human bodies sitting in a ruined, burned up car at the fuel pump. The dog's vision snaps towards the corner and a sharp right turn down an alleyway. All is silent.

"That's right, L-T," Kulko turns with his back to a car, pausing to answer Trask. "Right towards the human gunfire, to find more humans." As the dog pauses, he falls silent, motioning Samuel to stack up at the corner. Stephen follows in his wake.

A humourless quirk of mouth, aimed toward Trask. "Yeah. No shit." Tisiphone doesn't seem to be very eager to follow — she keeps glancing over toward Ashwood and his fellows, as if using them for some sort of danger barometer. They're more familiar with this chunk of city than the rest of them, after all. When the group pauses at the mouth of the alleyway, she turns to sweep a look — and the muzzle of her rifle — over the cityscape behind them.

Lasher spares a short, thin-lipped look for the bodies by the fuel pump, but he never stops moving. Joining the rest of the group at the mouth of the alley, he shoots a look to the rest of them before directing his gaze to the narrow opening.

Samuel nods a bit at Kulko's motioning, moving to get in place by the corner. Expression calm and businesslike now. Readying himself for whatever might be around the corner, he quietly and quickly moves his head to glance around the corner for a few seconds, before ducking back again.

Danger barometer? Ashwood looks scared of his own shadow at this point. In fact, he looks like he took a few bong-hits into sweaty paranoia-land. His status as not-a-soldier has never been more apparent. In fact, he looks worse off than his crew. They too stack up around the corner of the alleyway. He holds his rifle up. And rounds on inside. And it looks — well, frankly, the alleyway is trashed. First and foremost.

It wasn't the cleanest or shiniest before the bombs fell, and since then, it's gotten worse. It's littered with some stuff, though. Overturned trash cans, a ruined dumpster full of putrid, rotting garbage. Rubble from a wall that looks like it was flat-out blown the frak up. The whole side of the building penning the alley in has been trashed. Some fresh bloodstains, and a couple dead bodies of civilians, along with four destroyed Cylon Centurions that look like they were taken out with a mixture of gunfire and some kind of explosion.

About three yards further down is the figure of a woman, who is squirming, and dressed in what looks like a tracksuit. She's been shot in the gut, bloody, and staring at the sky. Still squirming. a woman on the vital side of middle-age (not for long), whose hair is so dark it crosses from 'brown' to 'black' in that neat and stern-looking bun which is disarrayed and ruined. Dark eyebrows drape in sooty arcs over large, expressive eyes, which contrast quite sharply with her angled, pointed chin. Her nose, it's equally sharp.

"I'll be sure to profusely apologize to Angus over there," Angus is a good name for an Aerilonian wolfhound, "should he prove to not be a Cylon sympathizer." A dog trained by Cylons to lure humans is not beyond the realm of possibility, as far as Trask is concerned. All the more reason to take cover and find the best possible vantage point.

Two other details - there is a pistol dropped two feet and change away from the woman's hand. The dog starts wagging excitedly and whines once as it darts forward towards some of the rubble. It stops though, clearly waiting.

Kulko sights down his rifle as he steps around cover into the alleyway, but lowers it at the scene that confronts him. "Tisi, Lasher, with me; everyone else cover the street. On the bounce." He's off at a brisk clip towards the woman, crouching between her and the pistol and picking it up. "Good thing we got here when we did, yeah?" he asks of her. While he awaits a response, he checks the firearm, chambering a round if there are any left.

Tisiphone backs along through the alleyway, her attention remaining on the mouth of the alley they entered from. She edges uneasily around the blown-apart Centurions, prodding each of their heads with the toe of her boot as she passes them. Her head snaps around, as if she was startled by her own name. "What-?" she starts to ask, then cuts her own question off to move forward. Ensign is Stowing It.

Kulko sights down his rifle as he steps around cover into the alleyway, but lowers it at the scene that confronts him. "Tisi, Lasher, with me; everyone else split up and cover the two streets. On the bounce." He's off at a brisk clip towards the woman, crouching between her and the pistol and picking it up. "Good thing we got here when we did, yeah?" he asks of her. While he awaits a response, he checks the firearm, chambering a round if there are any left.

Samuel nods a little bit at those words, and moves over to a good covering position for now. Keeping silent and frowning a bit at the moment. Looking around rather carefully for now.

Lasher begins to advance down the alleyway, rifle held high. His expression is grim; was it something Trask said? In lock-step with Kulko and Tisiphone beside him, he too directs a series of furtive glances towards the wrecked Centurions before stopping near the injured woman. His brow is furrowed in slight confusion as he surveys the alleyway, but he remains alert.

Sitka, meanwhile, has swapped to his rifle and resumed his bringing up of the party's rear. At the orders to disperse and cover the two blasted-out streets, he fans out to the left and takes up a firing position from behind what used to be a deli.

Bootstrap makes some manner of gesture to Croke, indicating the corpsman shouldn't stray too far, just in case Kulko's team requires medical attention. That done, he creeps across to take a position near a pawn shop that has long since been looted.

Tisiphone's advance stops short about three steps from the wounded woman. Wide-eyed and ashen beneath her sunburn, she tightens her rifle against her shoulder, aiming it at the woman's face. There's something tense and harsh muttered under her breath, and her eyes flick to Kulko for only a moment.

There's some stirring on the part of the dog, as the dog bounds forth towards the wounded woman. She looks upwards a bit at Kulko with a slight tilt of her head, grimacing in a painful, unbelievable strain, as she coughs. Blood is leaking from her mouth. And she then smiles up at him in a sort of delerious manner. "Yes. It is good. Wait — Who are you?" The dog starts to take up a vigil beside here, until there is a rattling down by the far end of the street (not the one the team entered through). Around the corner, a voice can be heard. "Darcy. C'mon. Darcy. STAY WITH ME." And the sound of him slapping someone or something. It's a male voice. And when that voice is heard, right when he says 'Darcy,' the dog goes running full-tilt towards its source, clearing the end of the street.

Meanwhile, Ashwood's group seems satisfied with guarding the rear. And standing there, staring at the woman. "We gotta do something!" He snaps. The Corpsman wastes no time in moving to attend to the wounded woman. "She's hit pretty bad. Don't know if she can move. She —" and her hand slaps at his in a brief twitch. "Don't touch." she coughs, weakly.

"You know…" Lasher sounds distracted as he speaks, as grainy images of 'Abbot' leading a column of Centurions dance in his mind. Eyes flick from the woman's body to the Centurions. Or what's left of them. "Looks like she got caught up in whatever trashed these heaps o' scrap." It's Laskaris' turn to nudge a dead Centurion with his boot. "Somethin's screwy here, LT."

"Question is, who're you?" Kulko asks of the woman in a low tone. "And how long you been in this city? What happened here?" He's not quite leveling a weapon at the woman, but his tone is far from friendly. Laskaris gets a nod of agreement, and when the man's voice is heard, Stephen looks up sharply from his crouch and calls out. "Colonial Fleet! Hands in the air, interlace your fingers behind your head and make no sudden moves. Identify yourself."

Samuel pauses now, keeping his attention on covering the area he's supposed to cover for now, waiting for whatever might come.

No need for Kulko to level a weapon at the woman — Tisiphone's more than happy to do so, herself, even while the corpsman moves forward to try to help her. The rifle's muzzle wavers slightly as she forces her hand to relax slightly.

The dying woman's only response to Kulko's inquiry is painful-sounding, wheezing laughter. "Hahahaha —" she breaks off with a hideous, dying cough as she squirms on the ground. Even in agony, she seems unafraid. Delerious. After the Tactical officer makes his presence known, she pipes up, "Oh this is rich. Care..ugh..ful.." Croke continues to attempt to assess the wound, and she's not exactly strong enough to swat at him again, merely writhing in pain. "Come on, lady. Snap out of it."

There's a single whine from the dog, but not an unpleasant one. "OTIS!" The man who was calling out suddenly yells, "You came back!" At Kulko's beckoning, a man steps into view. Somewhere in his thirties, dark-skinned, his head shaved bald. He's dressed in a bloodstained khaki shirt and black jeans, and he's got the body of a blonde woman slung over his shoulder. She's not moving. In fact, she too has been shot. In the back. He has one hand in the air as the other is clutched around the woman's corpse. "Colonial Fleet. Right, from the Battlestar 'I just dropped three tabs and I'm tripping balls.'" He snaps, not exactly friendly, tense. There's a pistol tucked into his belt. "Agent Henry Morrow. C.I.B. And stay the /frak/ away from that crazy bitch. Let her die." His face drifts to the dying woman. "I wouldn't even waste another bullet on her."

Soon enough, the woman has two guns pointed at her a moment later as Lasher joins Tisiphone. He turns with a start, though, as the dark-skinned man comes into view; Lasher's rifle snaps to the side, pointed now at the new arrival's face instead of the injured woman's. "Everyone on this bloody planet's a critic," he remarks snidely at the 'Battlestar Acid' comment. "Yeah, that's right, Colonial Fleet." His head jerks towards the woman. "What's the story, then?" he asks the CIB agent.

Well. Self-proclaimed CIB agent, anyway.

"Stand down, petty officer," Kulko shoots to the corpsman. Figuratively, of course. The literal bullet is saved for the bleeding woman on the ground - Stephen adds the scavenged pistol to the plethora of weapons aimed at her, save that he actually pulls the trigger. Once, twice, thrice, and a click, until the magazine is empty. He rises, answering Laskaris before the new arrival has a chance. "Enemy agent. One of your replicants, matter of fact. Calvin ran into her at their objective, and saw video of her blowin' herself up. Told us to be on the lookout." He takes a few slow steps towards the man. "Don't worry bout the bullets, I reckon they were hers anyway. You got ID?"

Samuel frowns a little bit at the appearing 'Agent Morrow', turning to study the man for a few moments. "Still got a badge or something, I hope…" The words come out a bit absently, and can probably be overheard, although the Corporal doesn't seem to notices that he's spoken out loud. Turning a bit to look out at the streets again, eyes narrowing a bit in thought.

Despite the fact she's been standing there with her own rifle levelled at the woman, tense and muttering Gods-only-know-what under her breath, Tisiphone still starts violently and looks away when Kulko empties the woman's own pistol(?) into her. She clears her throat thinly and paces off a couple steps, easing her rifle down from her shoulder as she looks toward Ashwood and his crew of merry men and best boys.

"Knew somethin' was frakked," Lasher spits, his lip curling in a sneer as he watches Kulko put the woman out of her misery. His finger tenses on the trigger; the captain, for his part, has no qualms about watching the JTAC execute the enemy agent, and even looks a bit satisfied when she slumps over dead. "Sometimes I hate bein' right." Another suspicious look towards the new arrival. "That you we heard shooting a second ago, was it?"

"Replicants?" A twitch-cough comes from the dying woman, and it's agonized, yet indignant. She spews some blood and spittle up even as Croke suddenly stands back and gives her a /wide/ berth. "You heret —" and then POP POP POP POP it's all over for her. She writhes and is still, her eyes lifeless and her dead gaze caught in a macabre mixture of mockery and indignation. This is /not/ the look of someone afraid to die. But that's that. She's dead.

"It's too bad she won't live. But then again, who —" Henry snorts as he glares balefully at the dying woman, only to stop at the mention of 'Replicants,' 'Enemy Agent,' and the like. "Yeah. Those were her bullets." He explains, sullenly as he sloops to gingerly rest the corpse down against a pile of rubble, closing the blonde woman's eyes. "Criticism is a skill, man." A nod to Lasher. "She got my friend in the back right as the Centurions got the drop on us. Was crazy. Got everyone here, Otis!" The dog comes running. "My buddy's dog. He likes me better. And yeah. I've got I.D. Of course, I could have pulled it off a dead agent. And you guys could have pulled that gear off some dead soldiers. Everyone on this shithole of a planet could be a liar." He slowly moves his hand to his back pocket and pulls out a badge, flashing.

"So here's the thing. We were cut off from the H-Train station after we ventured out here to hit a police substation for weapons. It was picked clean. Even worse, back in the city, we're blocked off from our hideout. We were /going/ to hit the entrypoint but then — well, I'm one guy. With a dog." He looks at the assembled group expectantly. "And yeah, the shots were mine. And hers. Morris over there brought the wall down on these toasters before he got taken out." He points at another corpse, distastefully.

At the sound of bullets, Trask's attention is jerked in that direction. He doesn't move, save to shift his weight a little and readjust his aim.

Sitka was 'ordered' to guard the cross street, so guard it he does. The crack of gunfire also draws his attention toward the alleyway down which the three officers vanished, but he steels himself and stays put for the nonce.

"I got a rule, last few days, to keep myself from goin' crazy," Kulko notes, tossing the spent pistol and moving closer to examine the ID cursorily. "Human till proven' otherwise. I'm Lieutenant Kulko, off the Battlestar Cerberus. We've been stranded here the last two weeks, and we're fixin' to get off this rock. You and yours are welcome to join up. She need a medic or has she…" He trails off, leaving the last unspoken.

Samuel nods a bit as he overhears what's being said, expression neutral so far. Watching the street areas rather carefully for the moment.

"Not 'less your medic can speak with the dead." Henry says, bitterly. "And if I'm not human, joke's on me, Lieutenant. Someone was paying that mortgage." Giving the blonde woman one last glance, he straightens. "Yeah. I'll join you. If you do me a favor. Two of them. One, I've got to get back in the city and I need help to do that. Two, I gotta get back to my hideout up north. We've got people, and supplies, but again, there's this nasty blockade issue. I've got — someone important up there. Don't get me wrong, I still hold to the 'Serve and Protect' thing but a man's got /priorities./" There's a pause. "Cerberus. So you've got a ship?" He looks down at the dead 'replicant' and grimaces. "She just joined up with us a week or so ago. Hope you and your friends here go way back?" Otis the dog, meanwhile, whines as he glides forward to sniff at the dead blonde woman.

Ashwood's team, for their part, just stay where they are until called upon.

"All the way back to Battlestar Trippin' Balls," mutters Tisiphone, not looking back toward Henry as she says it. She glances again to Ashwood and his crew, then sets off briskly in Sitka's direction, too restless to stand still. "Anything?" she asks, quietly, as she nears his position.

Kulko considers that last question for a few moments, lowering his rifle towards the ground. He leans over to Laskaris, passing something along sotto voce, before he responds. "Been lookin' for a new hidey hole ourselves. We /had/ a ship, till it got blown to high Hades. Now we're fixin' to keep breathin' till we see the rescue birds. That said, I ain't throwin' my people up against a wall of toasters. We go, but we go quiet."

Sitka sends the occasional glance in Kulko's party's direction, though — good little soldier that he is — the lion's share of his focus is on the dilapidated street whose crumbling awnings and asphalt striated with vanishing daylight could well come under attack at any moment. This isn't to say, of course, that he isn't capable of enjoying a cigarette while on guard duty. He's seated on a trashcan, rifle in both hands, garish orange tee shirt a beacon to his presence, smoking away as Tisiphone wanders up. His eyes flick toward the young woman when she approaches.

And he shakes his head once.

"Hey, if you all have uniforms like that, I might sign up. Uh, yeah, anyway, just call me Hal. It's easier." Henry looks Tisiphone up and down. It's almost a touch lascivious. "I like 'Cerberus' better. Has a nice, epic ring. Straight from the scrolls." He brings his hand up to his mouth to cover it in a dusty cough. Turning back towards Kulko, he shrugs again. "This isn't a suicide mission. I'm talking about punching a hole through. You need a guide? I'm your man, as long as you hold to your promises. And to sweeten the pot, I know a pilot. Someone who might be able to help. If he's still alive. If any of them are still alive." He claps a hand to his thigh. "Otis, come here, boy." The dog does as he's told. "So, anyway, Lieutenant, do we have a deal? I can get you to safety but you've got to get me to safety. And safety? This place isn't exactly it." He gestures towards the dead Cylons and tilts his head. "What'll it be?"

Ashwood shakes his head indicating the 'all clear.'

Lasher purses his lips, nodding at whatever Kulko whispers to him. "Right." One last look at Henry, and then he's turning away, following Tisiphone back down the alleyway the way they came. Quickening his steps a bit to catch up to the ensign, he nudges her lightly with his elbow to get her attention. "Let's round our guns up from the civvies, shall we?" he murmurs dryly. "Before they get over-nervous and hurt themselves."

Samuel, still clad in his CMC uniform, watches the street thoughtfully for now. Just listening to what's being said at the moment. He's muttering something under his breath, kept very quietly.

Kulko takes a final few steps forward to offer up his hand Henry's way. "Yeah, you got a deal. Fair warning, though, if we get a chance off this planet before we find your folks? We're takin' it. I got a hot shower back home with my name on it."

"Bum a-" Tisiphone starts to ask Sitka, already reaching a hand out as she does. Presumptuous much? The question isn't finished, though — Laskaris's light elbow startles her, bringing her around and a couple skittish steps away. "S-sir?" she asks, hesitant. "They saved our lives, before. I- don't think we should- uh. I mean. If- yessir." She doubles back, heading for Ashwood's group.

Trask continues to keep watch and waits for the signal to move on out.

"Well, good luck doing it without them." Hal says, extending his own hand. "But I don't think any of us are stupid here. Stupid doesn't last long in this town. We have a deal." He doesn't linger too long as he goes down to the edge of the street and retrieves a satchel and a SMG. Barrel-first. Otis, meanwhile, has apparently figured something else out about the crew as he wanders again. The dog pads over towards Samuel, sniffing at his leg. His tail wags. Samuel truly is a friend of the beasts.

Meanwhile, as the call to disarm Ashwood's crew is made, the blonde man shakes his head. "Nah. I'm allright. Think about this for a second — unarmed, we're just cannon fodder, man?!" One of his crew looks particularly nervous.

Hal waves a hand. "Anyway, when you figure out your ranks, let's do this! You're the boss, Lieutenant!"

Sitka already has his squashed pack of smokes half out, as Tisiphone makes her request. Blue eyes slide toward Lasher at his 'order', and the Petrel pushes up and off the trashcan, briefly grasping Tisiphone's shoulder. "Hold off on that, Apostolos." The disarming, presumably. He holds out a cig to her, then beckons to the younger captain with a 'got a second?' look.

Lasher shrugs. "Comes straight from our fearless leader back there." He pulls a bedraggled pack of cigarettes from his pocket, taking one for himself before offering it to her. "Here." He moves with her, raising a brow at Ashwood's defiance. However, his next is not to the hook nosed reporter, but back to Kulko himself. "Dunno as I'd be wantin' to send anyone out into these streets unarmed, LT."

Samuel was keeping all his attention on the area around, until the dog comes over. Leaning down he lets it sniff on his hand as well. After a few more moments of that, he leans down further, to gently pet the dog. "You're a nice smart dog, aren't you?" he offers to the animal for now. See, dogs are much nicer than their wilder cousins.

Kulko looks to Laskaris at the commotion, then down to the dead woman. His gaze lingers there for a good long while. Finally, he looks up towards the civilians. He exhales forcefully. "Fine. But if they so much as chamber around without proper say-so, they'll be signin' off the air for good." Stephen looks back to Henry. "Lets get'er done. You're on point."

Otis is indeed a smart dog. He allows Samuel to do this. Hal spends time checking his SMG. "So, H-train station is underneath Willows Mall, about ten blocks north of here. There are a few toaster patrols, but last glance, the main entrance had four to six centurions just hanging around with their big red eyes hanging out. The tunnels go underground, though. Below the river. So far they've been basically empty, we can get further towards the center of the city that way." He grimaces to Kulko. "Man, I knew you'd say that. Please, nobody shoot me in the back. I've seen enough of that today."

Laskaris nods, turning back to Colin with a reassuring gesture. "Just be careful, alright," he says softly to the civilians. A slight shake of the head and he turns away, a silently questioning glance sent over to Sitka.

So much for her bummed smoke. Tisiphone sneaks the proffered cigarette out of Sitka's pack and tucks it behind her ear as the word starts filtering down to move out. There'll be time for smoke breaks when she's dead. "Thanks," she mumbles, ducking her head in a nod to him before stalking back toward the middle of the group. She clears her throat before calling toward Trask: "Boots? We're getting ready to move again, Sir."

Samuel smiles to the dog, before he stands up again as he hears that they're about to move now. Checking his gear for a few moments, once more.

Sitka starts to say something to Lasher, then seems to change his mind and waves it off. The contemplative glance he sends Kulko's way might, however, be telling. "I'll have a word with him later," he murmurs to the other captain, tucking his pack of cigarettes away again and exhaling a steady stream of smoke from his nose. And, since it seems they're moving out again, he trudges off to spread the word.

"'Bout frakkin' time," Trask mutters. His rifle is shouldered just long enough to adjust the rest of his gear. "So," he asks, drawing closer to the two Captains and the Ensign, "where's the afterparty?"

"Oh, I am the textbook definition of careful." Ashwood's smile is brief. But there. His team, and the others, prepare to move out. And move out, they do.

The dog falls to the back of the pack, as group starts to meander on up north through the ruined city blocks, Hal in the lead. "If we stick to the side streets, we can get the drop on them. Thing about Cylons — they're not quiet."

There's an almost imperceptible shrug from Lasher as he slips his spurned pack of cigarettes back into his pocket. He's still smoking, though, as nothing seems to be intruding on their solitude for the moment. Sitka gets another shrug, and his eyes follow the older man's gaze to Kulko. Laskaris grunts something under his breath, smirking at Trask a moment later. "Heard there's cubit pitchers down at Aquarian Pete's," he deadpans.

There /are/ Cylon patrols in this region. It's not saturated with them, but moving block-by-block, they can be spotted several streets away. In fact, they are heard. Advantage: (for once), Colonials. Moving in a little staggered formation, Hal takes point and waves them along. He makes a signal. Five fingers. Five blocks to go.

"Same as it was by the mall, I bet," Tisiphone mutters to whoever's near, during one of the pauses to let a distant patrol pass. "Patrols of four. No pursuit. Just herding back toward the river."

Samuel frowns a little bit as he moves along, ducking behind cover once in a while if he can. Keeping his rifle ready for any possible need, now.

Kulko follows a bit behind Henry, looking to Tisiphone at her quip. "Ain't no cattle here. Let's keep movin'." His rifle half hangs from its sling, barrel supported with one hand.

"Best thing I've heard in a while." Hal comments. Ashwood and the other civilians (human and otherwise) bring up the rear. He pauses underneath a shadow-casting awning and fishes inside his satchel, producing something special. An unexploded frag grenade. He holds it out. "I'm not too good with these. Consider this a goodwill gift." He hisses. "Not too far now."

Tisiphone's mouth twists sourly at one corner, but she keeps her silence. She makes no move to take the frag grenade, her eyes flicking from Samuel to the senior officers. One of them will surely be eager to accept it.

Samuel lets the officers take the grenade if they need it. Otherwise, he'd take it. Looking around carefully for now, frowning once in a while.

Kulko, then, claims the grenade, hooking it to his belt and proceeding apace.

Hal winks. And then steals away down to survey the situation with the rest of the group. What do we have here?

Approximately two blocks away is Willows Mall, a large shopping complex which is on the second floor of the expanse of building which, according to both Hal and the signs leading there, leads to the H-Train. And freedom. Supposedly. It is diagonally one block north, and one northeast of where you all are standing. And it's frakked, but still standing. Parts of the wall are missing. There are no signs of life, but, further up, there are signs of shiny metal Centurions posted in front of the first-floor entrance.

There are six Centurions out front. The patrols sweeping the area are not fast or dense enough to be in the vicinity, but they will pass through in several minutes. The neighboring buildings are likewise bombed out and in various states of fail. Even if they're technically still standing.

As the group pauses to decide its course of action, Tisiphone nods distractedly to herself. "Yeah?" she says, starting to glance over to her side. "Wha-" She frowns and recoils slightly, looking around with equal parts wariness and confusion, her hands white-knuckled on her riflegrip again.

"Alright. Blaine, you see that MG up in the window? Get up there all quiet-like and stand ready to fire." Kulko motions vaguely window-wards. "Rest of us are gonna spread out and lob frags in there; we'll take em by surprise and get down into the tunnels before reinforcements can get here. Anything goes wrong, we split up and head back to the last rest stop." The JTAC glances between the party assembled, as if to assure their readiness.

Samuel pauses for a few moments as he studies the sight, blinking a little bit as he turns his head a bit more. Towards one of the buildings, it would seem. "Anyone else seeing that?" he asks, a bit quietly. Just a few moments before he hears Kulko. "Will do, sir," he offers, starting to sneak off as best he can. Let's hope this will be working well…

Tisiphone's frowning hard at a whole lot of nothing as she backs toward Kulko, her rifle twitching toward dark, but empty, corners and heaps of rubble. She nearly backs /into/ Kulko before the rifle lowers, mistrustfully. Her voice is thin and taut as a stretched piano-wire when she acknowledges the order. "Yeah. Got it." She starts to move off a few paces, fumbling for one of her own frag grenades.

"Well, front door. That's /one/ way to do this." Hal says, scratching his chin as he mutters quietly. "Too bad we don't have gear to scale the building and get the drop on them." Still, if he has a problem with the Lieutenant's plan, he isn't showing it. "Anyone else?" Pausing, he amends, "Careful with overdoing those frags. They're bunched up there but we don't want to cave in the entrance completely. We do that, we're frakked."

Meanwhile, other members of the group start to move up.

"My other thought is to toss one down an alley, and hope they all investigate, then run past. But we'd be boxed in the tunnels and we don't know what's down there." So that option is not so appealing to Kulko. "Rather have a way out. Alright, let's move out. When you hear the first explosion, toss your frags."

One note about Kulko's plan - Samuel will have to be lifted through one of the back windows and then creep up into the building to get to the MG emplacement. This will be a team effort.

Tisiphone isn't the strongest horse on the team, but she is pretty stubbornly determined to pitch in where it's necessary, despite that. She'll move over to help Ashwood and his newscrew lift Samuel up to the back window. "Careful up there, hey?" she mutters to him, before he's out of sight.

Samuel nods a bit as he hears Tisiphone's words, "I will. You guys down here be careful as well…" he offers, before he does his best to grab hold of something so he can ease some of the weight from the lifters, and climb in through the window now.

"Good an idea as any." There's a pause as Hal assents to this, as he moves into position. "You two, uh, watch the dog. He's a good dog." His face flickers into an unreadable frown as he orders the newscrew who help boost Samuel into place, allowing him to slip through the open window into a ruined apartment building. Any sign of residence is long gone. "Moving in and waiting for your signal, boss." the CIB agent nods in assent to Kulko as he slips around between buildings.

As Samuel gets into place, scrambling up the stairs, one unfortunate thing occurs. A chunk from the wall falls down onto the ground, which, unfortunately, brings the attention of the two front Centurions up towards the LMG. The others 'wake' up and follow suit, angry red eyes blaring. "Well, shit." Hal says, as their ruse is discovered. Sort of.

As Samuel's getting into position upstairs, Tisiphone's moving into position downstairs, crouched down behind a half-crumbled wall. She juggles her frag grenade nervously, tossing it gently up and down in her palm. Hot potato, hot potato.

Lunair is preparing herself, to fire at some cylons. She winces as the rubble clatters and - Is that pilot juggling a grenade? Well. At least Lunair can't tap dance on a land mine in their Carnivale of Explosives and Future Carnage. She just keeps herself ready for now. Whatever the 'nades don't clear out at least.

Samuel grimaces as the chunk from the wall falls over, and sees the Centurions starting to look in his direction, "This is not good," he mutters, as he hurries to turn the weapon towards them. Time to get some shooting done now.

Kulko hears the shooting start - before he gives the signal - and pops up from cover just long enough to lob his matte green ball of death. Then he's checking his rifle and hoping the bits of concrete protect him from the return volley.

Ashwood's in for a penny, in for a cubit. He inexpertly fires off a volley of rounds himself.

Kulko hangs back behind his little bit of cover, flicking the safety off and selecting burst fire. Nice to have ammunition, for a change.

Oh, Samuel may have made an noise, but he just made a bigger one. Those LMG's are /loud./ And they make a louder noise when they're shooting up centurions. Oh, but here comes 'noise,' in the form of Kulko's pineapple. The combined surprise fire of the Colonial forces end up taking the physically superior Centurions down a few pegs. Specifically, a machine graveyard. They spark, and flicker, and go down in a heap. The other two centurions start to bound up the stairs.

Bullets fly, kicking up chips of masonry and puffs of dirt and dust. Tisiphone takes a deep breath, shouts, "Throwing!" and ducks around the edge of the crumbled wall to throw her own frag grenade toward the three remaining Centurions. Does she throw like a girl? Nobody's close enough to tell, hopefully.

"Come on, keep firing!" Hal shouts as he fires again. "Damn, Lieutenant. Glad I gave you that! Let's move!" Some dust and debris start pouring from the ceiling. Those patrols in the area doubtless hear all this.

Wince. Even Lunair's yet to get used to that sort of noise. She keeps her rifle up though, dinging one of the Centurions. She doesn't look like she's thinking much, quietly shifting into fightnig mode. She smiles a little at Hal for just a second.

Samuel gets hit in the arm, and winces a bit, before he turns the LMG to fire at those two innermost Cylons. "Time to die, can-heads…" he mutters.

Oh, it's on. The second pineapple gets tossed, taking another Centurion out in its firey fury and seriously shredding another. The building's entryway starts to toss more dust and debris and if everyone just stopped firing and settled down, smoked a spliff? They'd hear that building creaking. Oh, and someone may see an approaching Centurion patrol. Ashwood's camera crewman, with the dog, calls out, "They're coming! HURRY THE FRAK UP!"

Meanwhile, the gunfire continues.

Tisiphone's definitely not the grenade-chucker Kulko is. Maybe she /does/ throw like a girl. She ducks down as bullets chip off bits of brick near her, fumbling for her rifle and clicking it over to sweet, sweet burst-fire. Gulping down a deep breath, she comes back around the edge of the wall to try to line up a shot.

Patrol? Oh gods. Lunair offers an encouraging look to Tis, but prepares to fire her rifle at the last Centurion or so. She nods at Ashwood's cameraman. Sadly, Lunair is not easy skankin' and decides against lighting up with the Centuurions. They tend to get the munchies and NOT buy the Doritos. Who does that anyway? Regardless, she's trying to end this quickly.

"Finish it! Let's go, drop them and into the tunnels, /MOVE/." Kulko pops up from cover and squeezes off a burst at the last Centurion as it opens fire from the stairwell.

As soon as the Centurions have dropped to the floor, Kulko's on his feet and moving for the tunnel. "Raine, Samuel. Set two more grenades at the entrance as soon as we're all through. Ain't gonna let em corner us in there." Although how else one could describe 'being underground with hostile robots' eludes him at the moment.

Tisiphone doesn't manage to level her rifle at a Centurion before the spray of bullets from overhead and either side of her tear the remaining two Cylons apart. She flicks the safety back on, slings her rifle back over her shoulder and scrambles after Kulko, huffing with exertion under the heavy pack she's carrying. "Trap ourselves in? We- don't know if the- tunnels are safe!"

Those poor little robots that could — couldn't. At least. The surprise attack by Colonial forces pretty much took them down. And it's a good thing, too. "Everybody move! Get down! Go! Go!, Go!" Hal waves along as those camera crews starts barrelling along, towards the subway station stairs, itself. Meanwhile, the sound of 'Clank' 'Clank.' 'Clank.' 'Clank.' 'Clank.' Cylon patrols down the street, flanking the group. They are blocks away, but they're getting closer. "Come on!"

"We know this shit isn't safe!" Hal adds. Ashwood and his crew, and the others all start hauling ass as well. And, oh hey, there's Otis! That dog didn't need to be told twice.

Samuel moves to get out of the building as fast as he can, leaving that LMG where he found it. Too heavy stuff to carry with him, that one. Managing to get out of the building, he hurries in the direction of the entrance, nodding a little bit at Kulko's orders, "Will do, sir," he offers. Right arm being quite a bit slower to use, but he still works on getting the job done…

"Sure thing," Lunair nods. She takes a deep breath and carefully sets the grenade where she's told to. She smiles at the doggie and will haul tail once she is sure there's no one after her. Her rifle is hefted back over her shoulder, safety on. She waits for Samuel too.

It took a bit of maneuvering to line-up his shot from behind his cover, but the time he spent to take careful aim paid off. BLAM! When the AP round bores into the metallic skull of one of the Centurions, Trask smiles a smug smile of grim satisfaction. "Kiss. Kiss. Bang. Bang." And then he and his gear are picking up the pace to follow the rest of the team.

Pouring down into the front of the station, the team, should they decide to go, will meet no resistance. So far, there is noone down there but the dead. And the dead, as they say, don't tell tales. So far, Hal's prediction rings true. They'd better hurry, though, as the building, the entire front of the tunnel starts rumbling more. Those grenades blew the hell out of it.

Kulko pauses only long enough to rummage a flashlight out of his pack. Apart from that, he's right up front, pressing the group on down past the platform and into the tunnels. "Anyone lose contact with the one in front of them, sound off," he passes back down the line.

Lunair will take point or at lest be near the front, flashlight in hand. She is not eager to stick around and get smised by falling debris. She's already bald, she cares not to be bald and in a Kate Moss-esque state of existence dreading high winds and floor cracks. She looks to the others, "Got it." A nod at Kulko's orders.

Tisiphone staggers to a halt once they've entered the H-Train station, the weight of her pack carrying her along several steps before she can turn to look behind her. She checks the inactive escalator to make sure no one else is following before fumbling out her own flashlight and clicking it on. At the back of the group now, or nearly so, her flashlight's beam sweeps those ahead, casting long, jittery shadows as they move.

"Just…Keep moving, people." Hal says, having fumbled in his own satchel for a flashlight. "We've got a walk ahead of us, and just keep an eye for anything red and glowing. Or —" He falls silent. "I don't wanna say the 'r' word, but we've got a long walk ahead of us til we get to Hyperion station, man. Here. Down the stairs. Don't suppose we could have a little chat about that bitch that killed my friend. And who knows who else?"

Meanwhile, there's a sound behind everyone. The sound of rumbling. The sound of something collapsing. The very /ground/ shakes.

Kulko keeps on truckin'. "S'classified," says the LTJG to the Intelligence officer without a hint of irony. "Be happy to hear the story, though, if you're feelin' talkative."

Bootstrap remains quiet, likely back to his Quinn is gone and maybe shot down dead by Raiders brooding. He's not bothering to keep his flashlight pointing straight ahead. The illumination reveals cracks in the ceiling and even some graffiti on the tunnel walls. The beam shakes a bit when the floor quakes.

Lunair looks a bit uneasy at the sound of rumbling, and unhappy at the mention of the person who killed Hal's friend. Her dark eyes just narrow a bit. Her flashlight points head at a midlevel, steady as a Marine on a quaking floor can. She says nothing for now, perhaps learning her lesson about listening first then speaking.

The beam of Tisiphone's flashlight sweeps around to point behind the group at the sound of the rumbling. She stands there for several long seconds, stock-still, the flashlight skittering around the tunnel, before there's the jangle-clank of her turning around and jogging to catch up to the group.

Indeed, there is graffiti on the walls. Something interesting, too. The outline of a Cylon's head, spray-painted on the wall and with a circle and slash surrounding it. In bright, red letters, the word 'RESIST' is splattered on the wall. Hal's flashlight trips over it and he snickers a little bit to himself. "I don't know much about art, but man, I /know/ what I like." His chuckle is heard, but the smile isn't seen in the darkness as the tunnels are entered and the team starts to traipse across the empty expanses of railroad tracks. Now and then, there's debris, litter, or a remnant of someone's former life to trip over.

Hal adds, chattering to Kulko softly. "Heh. Oh, classified, classified. Did you know Mayor Rayburn was taking some very suspicious kickbacks from a couple biotech companies? Some off-world group that got kicked out of Caprica. My old partner was looking into this. By the way? /That/'s classified." He snorts. "Nah. Um, we picked that woman up a week and change ago. Name was Janine. She was in a handful of refugees trapped in a furniture store. Brought her back to our hideout. Which, so far, has been un-violated." He stops dead in his tracks a moment and swears. "SHIT. Nah. Nah, this doesn't mean…"

"Reckon it might," Kulko finishes the man's sentence with a sympathetic look. Probably lost in the darkness, unless they're making ghost light faces at each other. "We have a second team on-planet - they ran into a copy of her themselves, and saw footage of a third copy blowin' herself up. Do you know what set'er off? Why she broke cover?"

"That's a- great way to keep him talking. Don't- offer him any information back." Tisiphone's voice, echoing thinly off the subway walls. Talking about him like he isn't there is probably great for it, too. Guilty. As. Charged. She keeps stopping to catch her breath — er, that is, check the tunnels behind them — and then jogging to catch up.

Buh? Lunair just looks confused. Not that that's much different from usual, it's just more obvious now. Like Paris Hilton at a Quantum Physics convention.

Classified information? Ordinarily, Trask is a good soldier and upholds the chain-of-command (apart from bypassing those links in the chain that he believes are morons). This means that he generally accepts the concept of a need-to-know basis. In light of all that has happened during these past two weeks, this is not one of those moments. Copies of suicide bombers? It was already creepy enough that Tisiphone killed what looked like Ryan "Salt" Shaker's twin. Even so, he's an officer — Hells, he a lifer — which is why he doesn't outright demand to know what the frak Kulko is talking about, particularly in front of civilians. Instead, he drops back a bit to quietly aside, "Apostolos, what the frak is he talking about?" Irritation brews below the surface.

"Oh, it's not like that. Really it's not." Hal says, in a joking, chiding fashion as he absorbs Kulko's statement. "Copies. Huh. So, there are more of ya. /That/ isn't a bad thing." As he trudges along. He seems awfully chatty. But new people in a place where people are scarce? That's probably got to get a man's jaw wagging. "Anyway, I'm used to bureaucratic red tape. I just — well, let's just say I'm divulging professional and personal secrets like candy. You know, I cheated my way through six chem tests in high school. While we're sharing." He coughs again at the dusty air.

"So, copies. I don't know why she snapped. But I think it was just due to superior numbers. She had Centurions right there. If she was working with them." He still says this as a big 'if'.

Puff, puff. Tisiphone's starting to flag. She's stubborn, though, and continues to press on, the occasional jostles of light from her flashlight showing a sweat-shiny face. "S-ir," she greets, as Trask falls back to trudge alongside her. "We- made contact with Lieutenant Oberlin. Couple- nights back. There's- I don't know what they are, Sir." A glance over at Trask, in the darkness. It's genuine, and deeply unnerved, confusion. "Clones? Cylon- spies. Something. The woman, the- wounded woman." The one Kulko shot D-A-I-D, three times. "She was one of them. He warned us- about her."

"Hades, Coach used to /give/ us the answers to the tests in high school," Kulko confesses right back. "Had to get our GPAs up or they'd pull us for the second-stringers." He meanders at Hal's side, light swinging to and fro as he walks from its shoulder strap. "She let slip anythin' useful? What they're after, why they let us live?"

As Trask talks, something nudges him in the leg. Something that feels suspiciously like a dog nose. It /is/ a dog nose.

Blink. Alas, Lunair is probably handily bypassed in the ole chain of command and painfully aware of it and her shortcomings. She blinks, looking somewhat disbelieving. She is listening and smiles a bit at Kulko. She looks to the dog too. Again, she's trying to learn for one reason or another, considering the conversation.

"If there's more than one woman with /that/ face, I guess it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world." Hal murmurs, not even bothering to hide the lasciviousness. "Except for the bloodthirsty traitor part. /IF/ I had a wandering eye, which I don't." As he proceeds to give TMI, he heads along. He keeps silent and doesn't immediately answer Kulko's question. Probably listening to Tisiphone. "Nah. Not a thing, Lieutenant. She was 'normal.' Occasionally gave people the evil eye, but generally she was pretty smooth. So. Cylon - controlled people. Mass produced. IF they have human plants, though. Listen, uh, I heard some stuff about the other Colonies but nothing concrete. Are they — gone?"

What he hears causes Bootstrap to peer at Money Shot, which means he stumbles a wee bit over some rubble, resulting in his 'what the frak?' expression to divert into one of 'what the-? frak'. Maintaining his balance, his brow knits, and he casts the beam of light downwards. "Clones." It hovers between statement and question, incredulousness and a dull sense of 'how trite'. Nothing further is said about that, for his mind is busy spooling an FTL worth of thoughts and considerations. After a ponderous moment, he glances back at Tisiphone and asks, "Y'a'right, there, Ensign?"

The dog, meanwhile, hasn't forgotten that there are other people to sniff. Lunair gets the nose treatment next.

There is a pause as Trask feels something against his leg. "Are… are you trying to cop a feel, Apostolos? 'cuz, if you are, you're off the— whoa. Okay. That is /not/ your hand." The light again shifts and the ECO espies the pooch. "You owe me dinner," he calls off after the departing dog.

"To the last, Agent. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. Some were hit harder'n others, but…" Kulko doesn't finish that sentence, and it's hardly necessary. "Makes me wonder if there ever was one'a her, or if they just up an' grew her from scratch. Also makes me wonder if there might be one'a her back on the ship." Stephen walks backwards a few paces to run his light over the rest of the group, as if checking to make sure they're still there. Then proceeds apace.

"That's kind of creepy," Lunair admits. She lifts her eyebrows. A shiver. Raine doesn't want to think about it. She looks briefly amused by the dog, but looks to Kulko, and nods. All toast. She sighs sadly. She frowns. People made by cylons? That adds a whole new level of paranoia and spooky. Cylons. In your restrooms. Cylons. Working in the news. Cylons. RUNNING CUTE LITTLE HOTDOG STANDS. … but they were good hot dogs and followed all safety guidelines, so it's really a moot point and hey, who doesn't love a good chili dog? She wrinkles her nose. "I hope not."

A scratchy, breathless snort of laughter is Tisiphone's response to Trask's introduction to Otis's nose. "M'aim's not that- bad, Sir," she mutters, watching the beastie lumber off toward Lunair. "M'fine." Of course it's what she says. She's still keeping up, isn't she? Trudge. Trudge. There's a bit of a pause before she continues; her voice is quieter when she does. "Salt was- another one. We- saw him on the street. Lasher, Lucky, the deckie and I. Just before you- all arrived on the ATVs." The happy moment before the horrible bridge-explosion. "Shot him. Checked- for his corpse- two days later. Centurions dragged him off. Dunno where to."

"You've — on the ship. I'm not even going to frakking /touch/ that one." Hal says, bitterly. He kind of falls silent after that. "I don't suppose your people up in space know about this." He pauses. "Sorry. Guess that really isn't any of my business." There's a lot of trudging along. "It /is/ creepy." He echoes Lunair, however. Tisiphone's statement just earns a grunt. "Sorry if Otis is getting up in your business, people. Uh, he's gotten a little more ill-behaved lately. I don't blame him. Some useless jackass back at p —," He pauses, "our base was talking about eating him until my partner explained that the dog was more useful than his barely-functioning ass."

"Salt." Again, it's simultaneously incredulous and derisive. "Didn't know the guy. Heard you'd shot someone who looked a lot like him." Yeah. What else is there really to say? So, Trask leaves it at that. "Tell ya what…" is said quietly enough for only Tisiphone's ears, "we come across another one of those frakkers, they get their kneecaps blown out and a one-way ticket to Blackout City. MPs and Intel can question 'em, an' maybe Medical can figure out what the frak is going on." As for the dog, he calls back, "Just because someone wanted to make him dinner doesn't mean he can get as friendly as he did without buying me dinner."

"Knew somethin' was up even before we came down here. Info leaks, sabotage. Just couldn't figure out why anyone would… yknow." Betray their entire species, Kulko doesn't say. "Would make sense if they were on the other side from the beginning." Stephen looks aside to the Fed. "How'd it all go down for you when the bombs dropped? Y'all seem like you lucked out."

Uh ooh. Lunair blinks. She freezes. She's clearly not used to animals bigger than small cats. Eventually she hesitantly offers a hand to rub between his ears and lets him sniff her hand. "Hey there," She smiles at the critter. She is quietly listening and nods at Hal. She looks a bit ill at the idea of eating a companion. Soft-hearted. At least until she goes hungry. For now, she gently pats the puppy and nods at the plan to konk out the next Evil Clone(TM). "That sounds like a plan." She offers quietly. She sighs. It doesn't make sense. Sure, humans aren't the best species ever (After all, there is such a thing as reality TV), but most folks aren't that bad.

A one-way ticket to Blackout City? There's a quick, sidelong glance flicked from Tisiphone to Trask — the sort of look that might convey she's one of those people who's only too happy to shoot first, second, and third, and bedamned the vivisection opportunities. The whole topic has her looking as uneasy as someone asked not only to dig up their grandparents' graves but use their bones for soup. "I- guess it would be wise, Si-" she starts to say, looking over to him again — only to trip over one of the subway ties, stumblelurch once, and go sprawling to hands and knees. "FRAK. THIS," she announces, loud enough her voice echoes off the tunnel's walls. "'m taking a frakking smoke breath rightth'frak HERE."

"Lucked out? Hahahaha. Oh, that's a good one. If by not being shot and popping anti-radiation meds we lucked out, I guess you can say so." Hal begins, first and foremost immediately answering the question directly posed to him. "We were actually working on a case in a venue, my partner and I. Venue turned out to be surprisingly — safe. And it had some fringe benefits. Don't suppose any of you have been to Kythera before?" He chuckles a little and just lets that drop, addressing the more serious statement. "As far as where they were or who they are? That's — that's nasty. What I don't get, though, why the scorched earth? If I was some kind of Cylon plant I'd be at every pyramid game in the colonies, selling tainted hot dogs. I'd get into Aerilon's corn supply. Start pushing bad drugs. Reverse engineer computer systems to systematically plunge the worlds into chaos and render Colonial technology irrelevant. I — we don't have all the facts here."

Hal lets out a slight laugh at Tisiphone's outburst, as well as Trask's statement. "Blackout City. Allright." He falls silent and comes to a stop.

"Smoke break sounds like a frakkin' good plan," Kulko concurs, abstaining from further speculation on the proper targets for Cylon infiltration. Instead, he meanders back towards where Tisiphone and Trask are conversing, loosening the straps on his armor to get to his own pilfered tobacco.

"No sense pushing too hard," Lunair smiles, agreeing with the idea of a break. She looks a bit scared of the dog, perhaps unaccustomed to large animals. They rarely fare well in big cities after all. She winces. The topics she can catch make her uneasier still too. Too bad Lunairs don't come with drills or she'd happily dig her way to somewhere else. For now she will find a spot and peer at the puppy. "Hello there."

"Yeah… the tar on the floor? Not the kind you should be smoking, Ensign." There's some rustling and a quasi-crumpled pack of smokes is removed from a low, cargo pant pocket, as is a lighter. "Here." Both items are offered to Tisiphone. Trask is even nice enough to let her get first dibs.

Tisiphone sits back on her heels, wincingly dusting off her scraped hands, then rolling her shoulders. She puts a hand to her ear for the smoke she mooched from Shiv, only to discover it No Longer There. A quick sweep of the nearby surroundings with her flashlight doesn't locate it, either. Bugger and blast. She dusts her hands off again before accepting the smokes and lighter. "Frak, that hurt. Thanks, Sir." She lights up quick as you please and offers the smoking accoutrements back. The ciggie's left perched at the corner of her mouth while she pulls off her helmet and mops at her scalp and brow with the sodden bandana beneath it.

The puppy is larger than some children. He sniffs at Lunair in the flashlight-illuminated dark before padding off, disinterested. One would note he is noticably more calm than he was hours ago - clearly a pack animal. Hal's voice rings out, "So, yeah. I'm down for a break." He doesn't join in the lighting up, however. Arms crossed, he edges up over the side of the tracks and leans against the tunnel wall.

"Hold on." This is murmured with an unlit cigarette betwixt his lips. There's a flick of flame and then a puff-puff. That done, the pack and the lighter are returned to the pocket and the flashlight is set down. Trask is then shifting his duffel, so he can get better access. Unsnap. Unzip. Dig. Rummage. "Here." A small tube of anti-bacterial cream is removed. "Hands." He unscrews the cap and waits to squeeze the contents unto Tisiphone's palms.

Bannik may not be a smoker, but a break is always welcome. The quiet Deckie has been — well, part of the scenery these last few days, clearing brush and doing all the sorts of things that have been asked of him. He stops near the group and takes a gulp of water from his canteen, wiping some sweat from his brow.

Hehe, puppy. Raine finally manages a little smile at the big critter, before watching it go. She falls quiet too, looking to Bannik. "Hey, you alright?" She asks the Deckie. She smiles politely at him in turn.

It's supposed to be a wary frown, but given Tisiphone's current state, it probably ends up just looking petulant. Worn-down Ensign is worn-down. She puffs twice on her cigarette before she holds her palms up for the antibacterial gooze, grimacing at the substance as she gingerly rubs it into the tarry, dusty scrapes. "We'll need another antenna on the other side of the river, won't we?" she mutters around her cigarette as she works. "To talk to the Cerberus again."

Kulko crouches down and lights up one of his own. Thankfully, not menthol this time. "No sense in layin' another one. We're gonna get word a day or two before the op via our regular wireless - have to find a landing site pretty quick, and make sure it's clear. All Hades is gonna break loose and we won't have much warnin'."

Fuzzy-Wuzzy Saggie now suitably tainted by germ-killing goo, Trask recaps the tube and returns it to the duffel. Zip. Snap. He then retrieves his flashlight and wanders off a bit to examine their surroundings.

Bannik shrugs his shoulders at Lunair and offers up the best smile he can manage. "I'm all right," says the Crewman. "Still alive. Still helping out. What more can a guy pray for?"

Scrub your Saggie! Lunair seems content to chat with poor Bannik. She smiles at him. Aw. Poor guy. She nods a little at him. "That's true. Wish I could help out more personally," She admits. "I am beginning to suspect that it might be time to turn in my ranks and try as an enlisted," She closes her eyes. "But that's a thought for another day." A shrug at that. She sighs, "I think I'm going to look around a little."

"Love of each and every god out there, Tyr," Tisiphone mutters, wiping her fingers off distastefully on her fatigues before plucking her cigarette out of her mouth. "There's frakkin' /nothing/ that gets you down." She unfolds her knees from her kneel, stretching them out in front of her with a wince. After a long sidelong stare in Kulko's direction, she adds, "So we'll need to try to contact Lieutenant Oberlin soon as we're out, then? Take another look at the maps, figure out our new neighbourhood."

Kulko doesn't return the stare, fixating intently on the glow of his cigarette in the dark tunnel. He exhales, the smoke catching in the beam of his flashlight. "Yeah. If Calvin's still alive, reckon he'll know the turf better'n we do." Lunair gets an odd look. "Yeah, if your CO lets you muster out. Officers are few'n far between, especially in CMC. Be surprised if they just let you walk away."

"That's why you love me so much and treat me like the little brother you never had, sir," replies Bannik with a wry smile to Tisiphone. It's what passes for cheekiness from the deckhand, apparently. He listens to the talk about communications, curious.

Bannik's statement startles a single, scratchy laugh out of Tisiphone, and tugs the corner of her mouth up toward a smile for the first time all day. "All I had were sisters," she admits to him. "Sounds 'bout right, though. Getting you into shit all the time? Yeah." The warm expression wobbles and fades back toward pensiveness at some sudden thought. Her turn to brood over the cherry on her cigarette.

Bannik takes a deep breath and then lets it out. "So you think we'll be able to get in touch with the other team?" he asks. "Hook up with them?" It's hope. It's something.

"Well, he's got a wireless same as we do," Kulko offers Bannik's way. "Last time we called, he answered. Can only hope he's still alive an' kickin'."

"If we're still going, they've gotta be." That's Tisiphone's logic on the matter, offered out as she rolls her cigarette slowly back and forth between her fingers. "No other way we can think about it, if we wanna keep going. Frak." She stops abruptly, as if doubting herself by the end of her words, and starts rubbing at her sweat-damp scalpfuzz.

"Don't know who to trust, anymore," Kulko laments quietly her way. "This new guy seems solid, and he had it in for Calvin's replicant. But what if he's onea them too? A plant? How would we ever know?" A long drag, exhaled through the light. "And the news team? Where the frak did they come from? We don't /know/ /anything/."

Tisiphone winces as she draws her legs up to her chest and folds her arms across her knees, cigarette again dangling from the corner of her mouth. "Human until proven otherwise, Stephen. Thought that's what you said." It's a dodge of a response, offered out in flat, scratchy words.

Kulko runs his free hand through his (admittedly gross) hair. "Yeah, well. Ain't as easy as all that. Sometimes you can't help thinkin', and goin' where it takes you." He pauses again, for a languid drag. "I told Tillman. About the Admiral. Wrote him a letter on a roll of cash register receipts; gave it to Lucky before the medevac got here."

"I seem to recall someone telling me to 'just forget about' the fact I'd just shot an old wingmate in the frakking neck," Tisiphone points out, her words a little too level to actually be calm. "Funny how the point of view changes everything. You figure that message got to him before it got to the Admiral?" The two statements are slammed together, without barely a pause for breath.

"Yeah, unless Lucky's on their side, too. She knew what was up. How important it was." Kulko shrugs, flicking ash between two railroad ties. "Couldn't take the risk that we might all die down here, and the information die with us. Had to get it off-world, without transmitting it. That was my one shot."

There's a hard frown aimed at Kulko for a moment before Tisiphone looks back toward the fathomless black of the tunnel behind them. "Yeah," she agrees, on a breath of smoke. "Couldn't hope for a better chance than that. I'm-" She pauses for a final drag off her cigarette, and flicks it away before starting to push painfully to her feet. "-ready to keep going."

Kulko follows suit, adjusting his box-light on his shoulder and flicking his own cigarette to the tunnel's edge. "Gotta be a light at the end somewhere, yeah?"

"Or an oncoming train." Tisiphone looks back to the cigarette butt, its ember still glowing fitfully, then turns away and trudges onward.

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