PHD #194: EVENT - Singing in the Rain
Singing in the Rain
Summary: Survivors in Aera Yazd get in touch, and a team is dispatched to pick them up.
Date: 08 Sept 2041 AE
Related Logs: None in particular, Sagittaron generally.
Bran Cilusia Constin Kincaid Leyla Marko Shiner NPC 
Constitution Plaza, Aera Yazd
Desc in set.
Post-Holocaust Day: #194

It is a lovely day in the neighborhood, which is to say that it is raining, which means you can see Aera Yazd just a bit less clearly than usual. It's something of an improvement, at least. The two raptors are inbound to the meeting point, Constitution Plaza, which despite (or perhaps perfectly fitting) its name, is not particularly large or impressive or well-known. Between the rain and the radiation, radio contact is a little bit touch and go, but earlier in the afternoon Hiram said his team was on schedule to meet you there.

Constin sits on the second bird's bench, nearest to the opening hatch. A dry look is given across toward Marine Private Jenkins who has been chatting amiably throughout the flight, regardless of the utter lack of response from the Sergeant. A short look is given aside to Shiner, before Constin shakes his head and double checks his kit as they near the landing site.

"Alright, we're about five minutes out. Everyone knows the drill," comes Leyla's voice from the front of the raptor. "Check your rad meds, check your badges. Anything you think you're going to need, take it with you when you leave." Not that Leyla plans to pull the raptor out of things as soon as she drops the team, but hey. Never know what might happen. "Pens, do we still have the all-clear to land?" There's no bumpiness, at least at the present moment, between Pilot and ECO. The pair have been working together for too long. Long enough to know when to fit together like a well-oiled machine.

"Okay, Raybob. Looks like we're just about there." Marko reports, double-checking the inertial nav fix with a map on his kneeboard. "Got some intermittent sparkles on the scanners, but it doe slook like we've got human life signs on the ground." he adds. "East and west sides of the plaza. Can't tell how many, though."

Kincaid glances back to the deckhand and pilot with him. "I'll take point when we land," says the journalist-turned-Marine to the two. "Just keep your eyes out and sharp to see if we're not walking into a trap. If we're lucky, the answer is 'no." But he seems disinclined to rely on luck, looking down at his rifle occasionally as they prepare to make their landing.

Shiner looks more tourist than trained military professional, peering forward through the windscreen as the raptor flies in. As for double checking his kit? Well, let's hope it was a marine who fitted it all to him in the first place. Who knows what he'd have brought if left to his own devices.

It's the waiting that's always a problem. Cilusia sits looking around a little nervously in the back of the first Raptor. The com chatter is louder than her at the moment, and she takes a second to doublecheck the tightness of the bands holding her hair all back along with the status of the pistol on her hip.

"Sounds good there, Flasher," Raybob "Classy" Butler calls back to his ECO, "We're expecting people, after all." He gets on the comms back to the other raptor then, informing them, "Sweet Pea, Classy, we've got people on each side of the plaza, looks like. I think I can kinda see 'em down there, I think? Looks like people, anyways. I'm aiming to land in the middle, I think, you come in after me, alright."

Sure enough, if one were to peer down hard through the rain and the windshield, they might see people on either side of the plaza, behind what look like stone walls separating sidewalk from cobblestone center. There's also a big monument at the south end of the plaza, a big stone and copper monstrosity with twelve foot high, sixty foot-long walls and a thirty foot statue in the center depicting the gods and the authors of the Colonial Constitution, if you've been reading the guidebook. Otherwise it's just huge and ugly.

"Yeah, we're still good," comments Bran in reply to Leyla before clearing his throat some. The ECO sits back at his position for a lingering moment and then speaks up further while reaching forward to the raptor's scanners. After speaking up with regard to the signatures down below he further adds, "I hate radiation. Bet they hate it worse down there."

"If one of these people's heads pops open and a UFO comes flying out, I want you all to have expected it." Marko calls tensely. So far, his stay on Saggitarron hasn't exactly been the windswept, romantic desert getaway he'd hoped it would be.

Shiner looks sharply to Marko, an eyebrow raised. "Uh… dude, is that likely? I thought we were rescuing these guys? If they turn out to have little green men in their heads, I'm out of here."

"Copy that, Classy. I'll bump up just behind you, over by that monument." No point in clustering everyone together. That's just silliness. "Want the ships back to back?" That way, there's a open hatch on either side and a better view of either side where the people are being reported. Regardless, once she gets the all clear from Pens, she starts her descent towards the patch of open ground behind the monument. Hover, hover, hover.

"Ready to disembark, sir," Constin drawls evenly to the Raptor's pilot in reply to the announcement that they're soon to set down. "Team up," is his instruction to Jenkins prior to landing. "Marines out first, rest of the team follows." Idly, he rolls his neck once eliciting a light pop.

Shiner squints out of the windscreen. I mean, squints more. It is Shiner, after all. "Uh… so which group of them's on our side, then? And… uh… shouldn't we not park where we're going to get shot?" he suggests worriedly.

"Copy, Sweet Pea," Raybob replies to Leyla, "You get behind that thing if you want, I'll park in front up here first." The pilot begins to hover down towards a land on the center-west of the plaza, apparently not seeing what Shiner is seeing since he replies, "Huh? What's that, son?"

As the Raptor begins to hover over the ground, Kincaid makes his way up to peer through the glass of the Raptor's windshield. Eyes scan left. Eyes scan right. And then he's on the radio, placing his hand against his helmet: "Sarge, Kincaid. We've got shots fired down on the plaza. Looks to me like there are —" He pauses. "Two groups trading fire. Cannot identify more than that. Over."

Marko makes a rude nose at the back of his throat at Shiner's reply. "Some people have no sense of humor." he sighs. "Wait….did they say they're trading fire? Frak….Knew this was too good to be true."

"I mean, I don't want to be rude or anything, but I know what these things are made of," Shiner notes, patting the inside of the Raptor. "They're not really designed to stop bullets, are they? Should we wait for them to stop shooting?"

As soon as gets the word on shots being fired, Leyla pulls the raptor up short, angling to try to get a better view of what exactly is going on on the ground. They could all be enemies, sure. or there could be friendlies that need extracting. of course, how one tells, when all of them are dressed like refugees is anybody's guess. But the explosion throws her all out of wack, and the raptor does a quick jump and weave to get clear of the draft exploding out from the ground below. "We've got an explosion on the east side of the square. Sergeant, orders?" She's just the pilot, yo. And this is a ground battle. Marines for the win.

"WHOA! What the frak!" Raybob shouts as there is a boom, followed by shattering glass and sparking wires and a pained sound from the pilot. "Shit, we're hit, Flasher! Hold on, guys, I'm having some trouble…OW," he adds eloquently. The rocket seemed to come from the east, and now Raptor2 bobs and weaves drunkenly at best, before: "Oh, shit, guys, I can't— we need to land and repair, I can't keep it steady and we're like frakking ducks right now," announces Raybob comfortingly, before the Raptor shudders down to a very bumpy landing just northeast of the cover that might have been provided by the monument.

Constin's wooden expression flickers with a frown at Kincaid's report. "Kincaid, Constin. Copy that, Lance. Advise Lieutenant Bran-" his advice is cut off abruptly by the explosion which hits the raptor, briefly threatening balance. Leyla's call is answered with a curt bark into the wireless, "Bird one: set down combat personnel and get back in the air. Bird two is damaged and setting down. Ground teams, our priority is the elimination of anti-aircraft and defense of the birds. Move!" Jolting once with the bumpy landing, the sergeant hustles out into the rain, gun up and scanning the torn square.

Marko shouts involuntarily as the rocket slams into the Raptor he's calling home, thus confirming his suspicions about how this afternoon is going to go. In short, not well. The landing jolts him senseless for a heartbeat and then he's flapping at switches and stabbing buttons. "Firebottle!" he calls, deploying the engine's fire suppression system and cutting off the fuel flow.

Shiner skids across the interior of the Raptor as the explosion rattles everything, grabbing for something to pull himself forward towards the cockpit and Raybob. "Dude! Hey, dude! Guy! Sir! Are you okay? Are you hurt? Sir?" A quick glance at the windscreen, another at the blood, and Shiner winces, gesturing to the first aid kit with a questioning look.

Kincaid pauses for a moment, eyes half-lidding, processing the information coming in to him. "All right. Fasi." The Lance Corporal points at the deckhand. "You're on me. We're going to get some cover and spot where that anti-aircraft fire is coming from, okay? Keep low and just try to look out for the muzzle flashes and stuff." He scoots closer to the door, on his knees, getting ready to be dropped off.

With her orders in place, Leyla, now with the raptor back under her control, moves to bring the ship down as close to the damaged raptor as she can, trying to give her much cover as possible, even to using the other raptor as cover itself, "Popping the hatch," which will start to go down before she even touches down. "Sergeant, I go back in the air, whoever's launching those missiles is going to have a clear shot at me." That comes over the comms, as well as through the cabin, as Leyla calls back to the marine in the back of her bird.

Behind the monument, those walls hide the Raptor with a foot or two to spare. Handily, the back of the fountain is giant stone steps, of the sort that an enterprising marksman might climb up in order to peek over and take aim at enemies beyond.

Bran looks over his shoulder at quite possibly nothing in particular though he follows after Kincaid's frame with his eyes before leaning back in order to look more closely at the same point of interest. "What the-," the rest is murmured incoherently under his breath and otherwise lost to the events out beyond the raptor. "Where the frak did that come from?" Not that he's complaining that it wasn't the bird he's in that has just had its wings clipped. He's remembering to pull his proverbial crap together though and listening before adding: "Let's figure out which side is which first? Please."

Though she may not have been looking, the explosion is definitely enough to draw Cilusia's attention to the viewscreen of the Raptor in which she's being ferried. "Whoa!" she exclaims, straining at the buckles holding her in the seat. She wants to get up and look a little more closely, but she's held back…at least until they touch down. "Frak! They didn't even get down behind cover!" she points out, helpfully! "That's gonna be a bitch and a half to get fixed up!"

Constin answers Leyla curtly, "Then get in the air and get clear sir. Will notify when the zone is secure. If you think staying down is safer, that's your call." Then its out into the weather. Into the wireless, he voices, "Kincaid, Constin-" Then the bullet hits. "Oh, NOW them sonsabitches gonna get it.." he growls.

"With all due respect, sir," says Kincaid, tightly, for that is what someone say before they're going to say something not too respectful. "The side that just shot Flasher's bird? That's the bad guys at the moment." Once the hatch is open, he clamors down the gangway, headed straight for the monument and the stairs that it offers. "Sarge, Kincaid. I'm going to try to take up an elevated position to snipe some of the tangos to the east." The former reporters' voice crackles over the radio, almost overlapping with Constin's. "Fasi'll be my spotter."

"I'm alright, kinda… bleeding and shit," Raybob tells Shiner, "And the controls need to fixed and fast. I think she'll fly, I just lost steering or something." And sure enough the panel is kind of a mess, sparking and sputtering and partially-smashed.

"We're putting down, Pens. See if you can scan for any sort of heat signature. See if we can pinpoint the location of that RPG launcher. I'm not leaving my people down here to fend for themselves." Also not going back up there like a game of Duck Hunt either. She's also trying to do what she can, looking through her windshield to get a better read on what exactly's going on down there.

"HEY!" comes a sudden call from the west and those who've had any contact with Hiram Joseph over the radio will recognize the booming voice of that man. All of a sudden something arcs into the air and skitters across the cobblestones towards the downed raptor. It looks like a radio, when it comes to a stop.

"Okay, I got good news and I got bad news." Marko calls, starting to go over the bitch list the diagnostics systems has compiled. "We've lost steering but it doesn't look like that tough a fix. The bad news is we can't do it from inside." he adds grimly. "Lemme break out the tools." he says, unstrapping and snagging a medkit which he passes to Shiner. "Patch him up." he says as he starts to cycle the hatch.

Shiner shuffles forward through the cockpit, giving Raybob a look over. "He'll live, sir," he decides, poking his pistol out of the gaping hole in the windscreen as a vague threat towards the bad guys. "Stick a plaster on it," he suggests to the injured man with a slightly apologetic smile.

In case the situation did not seem miserable enough already, it begins to rain harder. Water pounds down onto the cobblestones with a slowly increasing ferocity, creating little rivers along the edges of the plaza and tumbling off the statue.

One of the combatants peeking over that wall to the east gets practically riddled with bullets and drops out of sight, but there is another to take his place soon enough, and still that RPG remains out of sight, perhaps waiting and conserving ammunition until there are raptors in the air. On the ground, that radio thrown over from the west buzzes with static, and what sounds like a voice attempting to be heard.

Down on the ground, Cilusia unbuckles that seat strap. First place she goes is behind that monument, out of sight, out of mind for the moment. She does, however, scoot closer and closer to the side of that back wall to get a peek out at that downed Raptor. "Hey! Hey, how bad's that thing all shot to frak and back?" Cilusia calls out to the Raptor crew…plus Shiner. To call out, she's got to lean out a little bit to be heard, exposing her head and torso a bit.

"Oooh shit…Didn't they just gloss the hell over this aspect of the job in the recruiting video." Marko sighs nervously as he snags the toolkit and draws his pistol before cycling the lock. The instant there's enough room for him to shimmy out, he does so, and appears to have sense enough to keep _very_ low as he half duck-walks, half crawls towards the nose of the Raptor.

Rat-tat-tat. Kincaid lines up and fires with a three-shot burst from his rifle, striking his target almost squarely on center mass. "Tango down, Sarge!" calls out the Lance Corporal over the radio. "Changing targets to our new tango! Anyone see that Ar-Pee-Gee?" He stares down his barrel again from his perch, lining up on the newly appeared SSLF member.

And when nothing appears to be actually shooting at him, Shiner takes the short way out to the front of the Raptor and simply squeezes through the broken windscreen, reaching up above him for a handhold to hang onto and spreadeagling himself across the front of the vehicle, one foot on the windscreen's sill. The pistol goes away, giving him a hand free to grab a screwdriver from his belt in its place, and he starts unscrewing the most damaged panel while hanging there in place.

Constin remains exposed to fire as the sergeant moves quickly eastward, looking to get behind the hostile line of cover from the south. Adrenaline is a hellva thing. Over the wireless, Constin barks back to Kincaid, "Moving to flank. Keep up fire."

Out of sight and relatively safe from the fracas beyond, Bran wordlessly offers Kincaid a sidelong glance with tightened brows. It's just a disdainful expression and nothing more which leads him to moving back to his station and properly sitting down. "Sweet Pea, I'm not getting an actual fix coming down the pipeline on this one, so unless you want to wrangle with a missile," he might as well make himself useful while temporarily grounded, "But," he's drawing up comms to call out to the others. "Sergeant, anyone, pick up the frakkin' radio out there, probably near Classy's, over."

"And risk two raptors out of commission instead of just one? That's not going to happen. We've got to be prepped for team extraction." It's not lost on her that her raptor may or may not have to end up extracting two teams, plus any other friendlies. And despite the fact that being behind this frakkin huge statue gives them NO line of sight whatsoever, it also gives them a heck of a lot better cover than they're going to get anywhere else. "See if you can do anything to improve that radio signal. All I'm hearing it a ton of static."

Kablootch! Shot through the heart and Sslf5's to blame. Well, the neck, more accurately, right at the juncture of body armour and helmet. Shiner gives deckies a bad name, slumping instantly against the hull of the Raptor and leaving a nasty red smear as he slides down to fwump to the ground in a nasty looking heap. And in case you were wondering, he drops the screwdriver, too. 3M will get on his back for that later, no doubt.

"Status report, Sergeant. Flasher. How long before we can get that raptor back in the air?" Leyla is still at her seat, though she has unstrapped herself, just in case she needs to get up quickly. This is not going to look good in the morning report, no sir.

The rain washes Shiner's blood off the windshield quickly enough, as it begins to fall harder still. This seems less and less like a normal rainstorm and more like one of those fall monsoons southern Sagittaron doesn't usually get hit with for a few more weeks, at least. Those outside are getting seriously wet, and visibility decreases accordingly.

"Is someone getting that damn radio?" Kincaid asks over the comms, most of his shots against the SSLF operative that took out Shiner going wide. But he adjusts his aim, looking to make another go of it. Frustration begins to show in his voice, but he's doing his best to keep a lid on it. "And where is that Ar-Pee-Gee?"

"Shiner!" Marko shouts as he watches the Deckie take a nasty hit to the neck and slump down, bleeding profusely. «Man down, I need a medic over here!» he calls over the radio. «Sweet Pea, Flasher, ASAP, that's the best I can tell you.» he adds. A chance movement catches his eye and gives him a brief chance to try and tag the idiot that just shot Shiner. He'll probably miss, but it's worth the shot.

Constin fires off another long burst from the assault rifle, before ducking into cover to replace the spent clip, as he states into the wireless, "Two enemies down, still engaged, sir," the marine voices flatly, clapping the bottom of the clip to secure it. "Will be starting a sweep for the Arr-Pee-Gee in about ten rounds."

Peeking out from behind that wall just in time to see Shiner take a bullet to the neck, Cilusia ducks down and scampers out into the rain. Now she's got to patch up a Raptor AND a deckie. First stop? The Raptor cockpit. In a mad dash from the cover of the wall, Cilusia is elusive as she can be, weaving and splashing in the puddles collecting on the square as she beelines for the hatch to get out of sight again and find those supplies.

Bran hangs his head for a brief moment at the lack of nice and wholesome response while his hands return to work. There's a helluva lot of shooting out there at least, or heavy rain, one of the two, so as long as it doesn't go suddenly silent about things he ought to be fine. He reaches up to wipe his lower face in the process of drawing a proper fix on the radio frequency previously mentioned. "Cut the static. Right. I'm workin' on it. Give me two seconds."

A marine corpsman runs at the call for a medic, crouching over Shiner and shielding the downed deckie as he treats that ugly neckwound, shifting them both into the cover provided by the downed raptor. Meanwhile, over at the other raptor, Bran's radio finally de-statics slightly, and that same voice that shouted across the plaza earlier comes through loud and clear once again, audible to those in the raptor and maybe even across coms if they're broadcasting. "COLONIALS! THIS IS HIRAM JOSEPH! PICK UP THE DAMNED RADIO, SOMEBODY! FREQUENCY 3-2-4! COME ON!" and then gunfire in the background, of course. And rain. Lots and lots of rain.

Constin hears an enemy bullet bite into the concrete behind which he takes cover, takes a quick look around at the enemy and scowls. "Kincaid, Constin: enemy troops continuing to join the action. No sign of the anti-aircraft," he mutters, closer to the enemy than to the radio, and blissfully unaware of Hiram Joseph's desperate plea. Shouldering the rifle again, he ducks out of cover and opens up on the enemies.

"See if you can route that radio transmission to the bird, bypass the radio, if nobody's bothering to get it. That rain's gonna short it out before we get anything useful out of it." Or not, but technology like that tends to be pretty sensitive to things like…oh water. And then, into comms, "Alright, we've got a strong signal from the friendlies." Bran's at the EACM station, she leaves it to him to do the communication with Hiram and crew.

"Constin, Kincaid," replies back the Marine. "I've got my sniping position here. Not much I can do either. Guess we just need to rely on the pilots to figure out the situation and grab it." With a new SSLF member appearing to the east, that's where Kincaid turns his rifle's attention.

Marko dives to snag the radio from the puddle it's sitting in and tucks it into his pocket. "Hiram Jospeh, this is Flasher, Colonial Fleet." hee replies, going back to the nose of the damaged ship and starting to make the best repairs he can. "Sorry, sir, things are a little nutty ut here."

"Hey! Hey you, bookworm! What the frak is wrong with this beast?" Cilusia calls out to Marko, as he races back toward the Raptor from retrieving the radio. She's poking her head out the blown canopy window, looking down at the nose from inside.

Now that Marko has the radio and first contact with the friendlies, Leyla takes a moment to key up her own radio, on the channel right up to the Cerberus, "Cerberus, we're taking fire down here. We've got Raptor Two down, hit by IED fire, repairs are underway, Raptor One is on the ground and in position to retrieve ground assault team. We've got one group of enemies along the eastern edge of our location, friendlies along the west." She doesn't look back, but she does call back to her ECO, "Pens, are we getting anything that could help us pin down the location of that launcher?"

"Steering's all frakked up. I can fix it, but I need two hands to do it with." Marko replies, nerves making him a little testy. "Here!" he says to the woman, jumping up to pass her the radio. "Talk to this idiot, will ya? I got a bird to repair." he says simply.

"FINALLY!" booms Hiram Joseph over the radio and out of Bran's console, "I'm aware it's a bit nutty, son! I'm sorry you all got caught up in this, we got ambushed coming to meet you all. I've got four down over here, and there's no way we can move them to your position without gettin them and us all more dead than we already are. We appreciate the help with these bastards, we sure are glad of the rescue. We're just about out of ammo over here too, and then we'll be in a real fix."

"Sarge, Kincaid." The Lance Corporal burst-shooter crackles back over the radio. "I've got two new tangos to replace the one we just downed." Indeed, one of Danny's bullets nailed him square in the head, sending him back behind his position and out of action in an injured sort of way. "We can't sustain this tempo. We need a new option soon."

"Well, ah…I…" Cilusia attempts to protest, but Marko thrusts the radio at her, up through the blown out windscreen. With the radio stuffed against her chest (getting everything all wet), she sinks down onto the cockpit floor. "Well, this first Raptor ain't flying a damn place until we get the steering fixed up. The other one's still flying though. I guess…just ah…keep shooting as best you can until you run out of bullets!"

"Kincaid, Constin-" the sergeant returns. "Without a bead on the anti-aircraft, Air Wing isnt advising liftoff. They can't keep taking these losses, Lance- keep up fire!" Following his own advice, the marine unloads on the incoming natives.

Now unencumbered and apparently untargeted, Marko can throw himself at the task of getting his sick Raptor flying again. The damage isn't precisely difficult to repair, hell, on the Cerberus, this would be a twenty minute job. But nobody's shooting at him on the Cerberus, and it isn't raining by the bucketsful, making everything slippy.

"We're doing our best!" comes Hiram back over the radio at Cilusia and the raptor and then, "WHAT?" there is a crackle and a buzz, and another voice breaks through, a woman this time, the static thicker than before: ""Hiram! Is anybody there?… trapped…can't…you!" She doesn't seem to be able to hear Hiram's response as the man shouts, "Jean! What's going on?" across the frequency. Oblivious, she continues: "The…are…flooding…building is flooding! We're…attic…the roof— I think the….down! Where….Raptors….promised?….you? Please!"

"Who's this speaking, and where are you? The Raptors have landed, trying to get you all out, but we're pinned down ourselves. This is Petty Officer Cilusia Fasi of the Colonial Fleet…again, female Saggie, where are you located?" Cilusia's clutching the little radio inside of the cockpit of the downed Raptor. "Yo! How're those repairs coming! Do you have it under control?!" she calls to Marko.

"Fifteen minutes, less if I get some help." Marko fires back, cursing as he frantically tries to get cables and other bits of Raptor guts to work together once more. «Classy, try giving me a tap on the starboard thruster pedal.» he calls over his radio.

"I think we lost her!" Hiram replies to Cilusia and there doesn't seem to be anything else coming through, "That's Jean, back at our base, about a click northwest." He sounds concerned, even rattled, and in case it wasn't clear enough he offers, "I don't like the sound of that. She's with the rest of our people, mostly the sick and children, people who couldn't come out—" he pauses to grunt and fire off a few shots from the sound of it, "Couldn't come out to salvage."

Leyla can just barely make out the second communication, and that sort of seals the deal for her, "We're going, Pens." Leyla keys into the frequency the friendlies are using, "Which building are your people in, we're moving to attempt extraction now."

As enemy riflemen get mowed down, more pop up. It's like an endless game of whack-a-mole.

The rain, mean while, pops up off the cobblestones in drops so big and so furious it might get confused for hail if it weren't making everything so gods-damned WET. The plaza isn't flooding, exactly, but there is no dry ground, everything covered with water rushing and sloshing and puddling.

The concentrated hail of Colonial gunfire is leaving steadily increasing numbers of insurgents screaming, groaning, or simply dying behind their barricade of rubble. The steady downpour of rain both dilutes and hastens the spread of blood on the ground.

Ducking back into cover himself, Constin once again replaces his spent clip, and voices into the wireless, "This is Constin, do we have a fix on that Arr-Pee-Gee?" the marine barks curtly, through gritted teeth- pained throughout the reloading process by the fresh injury to his left arm, joining torso and head.

"Location coordinates are," Hiram begins, firing off a few more shots before offering detailed numbers to Leyla, voice tight and tone grim, "But if that roof went down, you're going to need one of them ships to lift it off while the other picks them up. We're hailing her to try to get a report, but nothing."

Bran switches gears now that the radio has been retrieved and Hiram can be heard. He looks over his shoulder towards the hatchway leading out into the storm and then glances in Leyla's direction while reaching forwards. "I've got frakkin' nothing with the sweeps as is, and," he exhales, trying to think under the strain of voices. "We'd be sitting ducks out there." Beyond that, Pens'll trust her piloting. He radios out, "Sergeant, we're playing bait under that suppression out there. Catch the position from that."

"Reloading now, sir," Constin reports to Bran, gritting his teeth behind a fixed frown. "Fireteam, Constin. Priority target is anti-aircraft."

"Cerberus, we need another raptor for extraction of survivors, possible building collapse." Leyla sends the message, quiet and still, her voice exceedingly calm, as she gets ready to thread the needle and hope for the best. Quick and nimble, or as close as her little baby elephant can manage.

Leyla says, "Pens, can you get me a clear line to Cerberus? Frak all."

"Frak!" Marko yelps as an errant raindrop shorts a the transducer he was working on, sending a few hundred volts stingingly through his fingers. "Godsdamn rain….Why can't they put a tarp in this kit?" he muses. "I could…" ~BLAM~! The young ECO is suddenly flung to the deck as a bullet buries itself in his body armor, knocking the wind out of him, breaking ribs and generally making his day a lot less fun.

Constin takes another bullet impacting the bodyarmor at his ribs, snarling as he claps the fresh clip into the ever-ravenous assault rifle. Already prone, he has no distance to fall and no balance to threaten, as the Raptor begins to take off, and the big RPG that is the ground team's primary target is searched out…

"Looks like it's just you and me, Pens." With that, Leyla lifts off, moving as quickly and as decisively as she can, maneuvering to get past the statue, and, at least for a little while, she's going to be a open target for that incoming RPG, "Just like Delta 4, Pens."

And up the guy with the RPG pops, as the Raptor emerges above the cover of the monument, sneaking out of a cleverly-concealed hidey-hole within the debris to take aim at the craft.

"Copy that," Bran's quick to reply to Constin and then sits up at his station, reaching up to rub over his left cheek and then the right. Superstitious him murmurs under his breath in case the Raptor is about to become scrap but at least he responds to the affirmative in opening up a clearer signal to the Cerberus for Leyla. It's nothing great and there's still a lot of interference but the man is trying against the odds and bringing about results. "This is not the best time to remind me, Sweet Pea."

"All we can do is die, Sam." For once, the Aydin actually uses the Bran's name. Things just be in the crapper.

When Marko goes down, Cilusia decides to help with the repairs. The radio is left in the cockpit as she takes a second to get out the easy way: through the front. Hanging onto the edge for dear life (seemingly not caring much if her palms get a little cut up), she dangles and slides down the slippery nose to the ground. The tools that Marko and Shiner dropped are picked up and she sticks her head in to help with the repairs.

The clearer line from Cerberus finally comes through: "Sweet Pea, this is Cerberus, say again. We did not copy your last, request say again, over."

Leyla says, "Cerberus, we are taking heavy fire at the extraction point. Raptor Two is down, but is being repaired. We are attempting to retrieve the secondary pocket of survivors but we've got AA's down here, as well. We need more raptor support, possible roof collapse at secondary rescue site."

Marko tries to sit up, tries to roll over, tries to do _something_ to defend himself, but everything he does makes the busted ribs in his chest grind against each other like broken glass, or at least, feels that way. Fortunately, he's given the proper motivation when the person that shot him, or at least, the person he thinks shot him, makes the mistake of putting his head up. "Eat this!" he shouts, pointing the muzzle of his pistol in the rebel's direction and squeezing the trigger before crawling back to his busted ass Raptor. "Frak…this hurts." he grunts, nodding to Cilusia. "Definitely glossed over this part in the recruiting vid." he repeats, trying to go back to work.

The response from Cerberus? Nothing but static, as communications cut out abruptly before Leyla's even finished.

Constin is among a scattering of incoming enemy bullets, one of which again impacts his helmet, rocking his head to the side and briefly spoiling his aim. Woodenly narrowing his eyes, the sergeant focuses on the source of that streaking surface to air grenade, and squeezes off a burst. "Enemy Ay-Ay is hit, unknown how badly."

Leyla says, "Sergeant, do you want me to do another pass?"

Constin speaks back to Leyla through rain, blood, and gritted teeth into the wireless: "Negative, sir. Pursue the mission objective, extract civilians- ground forces will hold the zone until extraction." Such is the lot of the ground-pounder.

When Cilusia reaches into the front of the Raptor to attempt repairs, her hand is withdrawn rather quickly, shaking up and down in the rain. "AH! Frak me!" she exclaims. Apparently, she was zapped with the same short that Marko was. Of course, shaking her hand out and sucking on the tips of her fingers a bit makes it all better, right? She dives back in, though!

Hopefully, now the ground team has the location of the AA, but she's got her orders, and Leyla's raptor takes off towards the northwest, following the instructions given by Hiram. Here's to hoping that that AA doesn't take another crack at her backside, and that the news at the secondary extraction point is better than the one here.

"Okay…okay…" Marko nods, starting to put the puzzle together in his head. "Okay, Cil, plug that connector back into the main bus." he says. "I'll route the power from the auxillary…." he says as Cilusia, two steps ahead of him, plugs in not only the indicated connector, but another one Marko had completely forgotten about. His own connections are made and _voila!_ The Raptor's RCS jets come hissing back to life! «Classy! We're back up!» he shouts, then meeps at the pain that causes. "Thank you, Cilusia!"

"I like living fine enough," offhandedly comments Bran in passing before looking up to the loss of contact with Cerberus. He curses under his breath and drops the issue for the time being. There's an explosion somewhere near but the raptor is still in the air and he's now returning back to the communication issues. "Sweet Pea, we're under some heavy countermeasures out here. I can't do much of anything back here."

"Alright, folks, we're up and running!" Raybob calls back, "Good work, Flasher, deckie-girl. Hey Sarge!" he calls into the comms, "You gonna jump back in here? We gonna pick any of these other folks up or go help Sweet Pea or GTFO back to base or what?"

Constin takes yet another bullet- another annoyance that continues to stain the ground red beneath him. "Team, Constin: Enemy is re-arming.. Arr-Pee-Gee is back on the table. Opening fire. Will rendesvous with the bird when the air is clear."

"I owe you drinks, Cilusia. I owe you many, many drinks." Marko grins, then freezes as the SOB that shot him pops back up. This time, his reaction's almost automatic, point, aim-ish, and fire! To his amazement, he actually gets a piece of the guy. Shooting center mass actually works! Who knew?

"Flasher, sir!" Classy is only an ensign, you see. This was not supposed to go this badly. "What's our plan here? Pick up those folks to the west or go help Sweet Pea or RTB?"

Keep doing what you can to get Cerberus back on the line, and prep for whatever survivors we can pick up. We may need to do this all on our own." It's like being in the backend of beyond all over again. Leyla, mission forward, powers on towards the building that hopefully, has not killed most of the people they came to rescue.

"I'm not going to forget it, bookworm. Better be ready to get me some hooch from the pilot's still when we get back!" Cilusia calls out to Marko. Better haul ass around the side of the Raptor and back in. On her way though, Cilusia pulls her pistol and fires on her way there, however.

A command decision…never a comfortable thing. But in this instance, it's not that difficult. "West, Classy. We came here on a rescue mission." Marko says, breaking cover and sweeping the area with the muzzle of his pistol as he falls back to the Raptor. "All this is for nothing, we don't get them out."

Constin's control of the gun is limited by bullet wounds to both arms, one hand, the ribs and two to the head. The natural response from the marine is switch the weapon from burst fire to single fire, and put a bullet into the enemy. "Semper Fi, Do or Die," the sergeant mutters under his breath with a whisper and tight, forced grin. Aim, squeeze, repeat.

The two bulls manage to make it to the designated secondary point, when they get Really Bad News(tm). And being sharing folks, Leyla radios back to the team left on the ground, "Classy, Flasher, we've got survivors here, but they're trapped in the attic of the house they were sheltering in. The roof is collapsed, we're going to work on securing the beams now, get out whoever we can. But there's no landing out here, we're going to need another raptor, and we've got nothing from Cerberus."

Constin lets out a tight breath and shifts aim as another of the insurgents moves to take up the RPG. "Sooner or later.." the sergeant growls, off-channel. "Even Saggies ain't gonna be stupid enough to pick up that thing." Aim centering on the new target's chest, Constin readies the next round for spending.

"No go with the Cerberus," croaks out Bran before lifting from his station. He'll kick whatever sensor systems that needs to be kicking later on. For now, he steadies himself for the incoming rescue operation. He's out of the hatch and onto the frame of the plump bird, squinting through the storm above in order to catch sight of those below. "Keep it steady!" The man's able to pull up one and then another before calling out over his shoulder and into the raptor. "With this storm we're going to need that help out here ay-sap!"

Leyla just barely gets Flasher's message, and she tries to send it again, even as she fights the wind and the rain to give Bran a chance to get the people he can get free, clear of the roof, «Flasher, we need a second raptor. Cannot get survivors without it. Cerberus is off-comm.» "We've got to give them more room back there!"

Constin allows a tight, forced chuckle as the Saggie rebel drops the hot potato that is the RPG. The chuckle is cut off abruptly as a rifle is pointed his way. "Aw, frak.." the sergeant mutters. "Team, Constin: Advise sending the second bird to assist with the collapsed house, NOW. Ground team will hold here until your return."

«Sweet Pea, Flasher, copy that.» Marko replies, frowning thoughtfully. «Constin, Flasher, concur, Gods be with you, Marine..> he sighs. "Okay, Classy, it's time to haul ass outta here." he instructs, strapping himself back into his chair and hissing as the restraints bite down on his broken ribs.

Constin takes yet another impact to the bodyarmor, feeling a rib crack this time. His shot goes wide wince a wince as the recoil kicks his shoulder. Each breath is drawn in through clenched teeth. "Well. Shit." Drawing a deep, pained breath, he hollers through the gunfire, "Jospeh! You got legs, rush 'em when he clicks!"

"You got legs too and I'm bettin' they're younger than mine and a hell of a lot closer!" Hiram calls back to Constin, "But why not? Out of ammo back here anyhow!"

"Bitch, bitch, bitch- you sound like a pilot!" Constin yells back through the bullets, as his shot is spoiled by spilled blood and rainfall. As soon as the hail of fire abates, the sergeant is dragging himself to his feet and lurching toward the remaining known hostile. Not even having time or breath to curse, the marine does his best to close ground before the rebel can reload.

Hiram does not rush the remaining rifleman when his weapon clicks empty. In fact, there is no sound or movement at all from behind the western wall. From behind the eastern, reloading.

Every step over rain slicked stones jolts Constin's frame painfully as the sergeant propels himself toward the enemy firing position. Closer and closer, and no bullets come screaming out to mow him down before the big marine sets boots to rubble and clears the enemy's cover. Teeth grinding together, the sergeant heaves himself toward the foe, bringing the butt of his rifle up and back down across the rebel's face, nostrils flaring with a desperate breath.

Behind the wall, the beleaguered nutjob who defends the SSLF (because that is what the patch on his shoulder says) position to the last struggles to reload his rifle, wet ammo slipping from wet hands as he tries to keep his rifle relatively dry, in an environment where absolutely nothing can remain dry for more than a split second. His head is bent down over his work, and it is a look of frustration on his face as his head pops up at the sound of Constin's approach, the rain drowning it out until he has time only to begin a snarl, and then *smash* *pop* he is out cold.

Constin's shoulders heave with breath that have long since pained him through the adrenaline. "Thanks for the assist," the sergeant drawls dryly turning a look back toward Hiram's western position. The words cut off when he sees nothing from the defenders across the square. A slow exhale precedes the sergeant's slow turn of the head back to the unconcious rebel. A moment's silence followed by the echoing report of a single, final gunshot.

Bitter SSLF brain jelly splatters across the cobblestones and gets washed away almost instantly. There is no more movement from behind that debris cover wall after Constin shoots the last visible one. That RPG is his for the taking.

It's show hard going, out at the collapsed building, with Leyla and Classy doing their best to steady their birds, and the survivors, such as they can, and the other crew working to extract the remaining survivors, all of whom are being shunted into Marko's raptor, mostly. But the small pilot can't help beating a frustrated tattoo on the console in front of her. Her people are still back in the square and she can do frak all to help them until this is done. Complete the mission, Sweet Pea. Just complete the mission.

Marko helps the bedraggled survivors settle into the cramped passenger compartment of his Raptor, passing out what little supplies they have aboard to those as need them. "Come on….come on…" he murmurs impatiently. "We still gotta get the others from the Square."

The Raptors, upon returning to the initial landing zone are greeted by no RPGs, no gunfire, and no movement. Ten dead rebels lie opposite the bodies of Hiram Joseph and his men. Blood trickled through the stones of the plaza as the birds settles into a landing again. The RPG that has been the source of so much trouble leans against the statue beside Sergeant Constin, who sits there stonefaced and scowling.

The two raptor teams really did retrieve the survivors as quickly as they could, before turning back to pick up the rest of their team, still left behind in the square. Leyla's voice comes over the comms, "Sergeant. We're on our way back, report."

Marko is learning, reluctantly and slowly, to ignore the way his chest seems to grind against itself every time the Raptor he's in his a patch of rough air. And in these weather conditions, there's plenty of them. «Got human life signs……» he reports to Classy. «Not very damn many of them, though.» he sighs.

"Bird. Constin," comes the sergeant's reply on the wireless. "Landing zone secure. Self and.. two friendlies Dub-Eye-Ay. Request extraction." The words are spoken slowly and evenly- an effort made not to move or draw a deep breath.

As soon as Leyla can get a clear bead on her touchdown point, she sets down in the square, close to the statue, popping up from the bird as soon as she gets the raptor steady, "We need to treat the wounded and get them back to the ship ASAP. Pick up everyone we can, load them into my bird. Classy's is already overloaded."

Bran settles into the Raptor now that things have calmed down some and the refugees near to him are, for the most part, completely okay. Communications are still fairly useless but Pens puts himself back to work when it comes to recovering more of the refugees and wounded, and moseying on over to offer a hand to Constin before he dies or something.

Classy sets the heavily loaded Raptor down, not with any intent to help in recovery, but to give Marko a chance to bird dog, in his own clumsy, gun-waving at the first hint of motion way, the others as they get the wounded loaded.

Constin reaches a hand up (the uninjured right) to clasp the offered hand of Bran as the marine raises himself painfully to his feet. "Sir," he greets flatly. "What's the word?" he prompts, turning an eye to the pair of Raptors.

Leyla remains in the bird, while Pens goes out to recover their wounded, the marines and the corpsman who came with them bringing in the two survivors, plus, hopefully, the Sergeant as well. He touched down on this rock with her, he's going back home with her. The first aid kits and supplies she breaks out, to help as she can with keeping everyone mostly stable until they can get back to the Cerberus.

"Job well done, all things considered, Sergeant," replies Bran in turn, helping the other man to his feet before looking elsewhere and to the others. It's not much, but it's something. He directs things towards the Raptors as best he can, which means they all can get home in one piece.

Marko waits, tense, until all friendlies are loaded into Sweet Pea and Bran's Raptor. "Not to be impertinent." he calls. "But I think now would be a good time to get off this Godsforsaken rock." he says, shielding his eyes from the heavy downpour with his hand in case there's yet another troublemaker lurking in the square. Marko Scaurus, action hero……Not quite. But he is trying.

Constin nods once to Bran's summary. "Yeah," the sergeant mutters to Marko's opinion. "Think you're onto something, sir." The RPG for which he caught so many enemy bullets is clutched and carried along toward the waiting Raptor, where he boards with the last of the two survivors of Joseph's half dozen. "PErmission to come aboard, sir," he drawls evenly to Leyla.

Leyla has been busy, treating the injuries, of the survivors and of the marines, getting them at least stable enough for the ride back home. The two they manage to recover from the square are set in the back and mostly stable, with her help and the assistance of the corpsman, before she turns to study the big man coming in from the rain, leaking blood on her deck. "You're always welcome in my boat, Sergeant. Take a seat, the corpsman will look after you." The Sergeant deserves more skilled hands than hers. With that, Leyla steps back towards the pilot's seat, speaking once again into the comms, "Hatch is closed, and everyone is aboard, let's head back to Cerberus and get our people the help they need."

Marko gives the rain-washed scene a final once over before nodding and drawing back into his Raptor, holstering his sidearm before sealing the hatch. "Classy, we're good to launch here." he calls over the ships internal coms. «Sweet Pea, Pens, that was damn good work out there.» he adds for the other crew's benefit. He's strapping in when one of the toddlers starts bawling uncontrollably. "Frak…..No good deed goes unpunished." he sighs to himself, settling back and preparing for a long, noisy ride back home.

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