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Sweat & Tears

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Sweat & Tears
Summary: A Marine training operation goes down on Deepcrest Island. Lessons are learnt.
Cast: Norton Lucius Dirionis Volouscheur Jantine Petra
Air Date: 2006.10.19



Landing Bay <Hancock Station>

This incredible chamber sports almost a square mile of poured plascrete, all watched over by a high communications tower. Most of the ceiling of this chamber is of a lightly buzzing blue energy, allowing ships in and out with a minimum of atmosphere loss. Cheery lighting fixtures line the walls in stark contrast to the otherwise utilitarian nature of the bay. There is a set of double doors near the back of the bay, manned by half a dozen armed New Luna Militia members.

Lucius stands near the edge of the landing bay, all geared up and looking mean as a sonovabitch. He is next to the Riposte whose main hatch is opened up, while several marines have already gathered around - they seem to mostly be part of first and second squad of third platoon, and are loading onto the ship in a rapid fashion while the Sfc looks on.

Norton is wearing fatigues as he walks out onto the landing pad. He's got a pinch of dip in by the swelling of his lower lip, but there is no cigarette dangling out of his mouth. As far as gear goes, he's just wearing a utility belt with a pair of pistols. A flak vest is slung over his left shoulder.

Dirionis enters via the inner lobby, stretching a little as he holds a flak jacket in his hand, heading towards the Riposte in long strides. He runs a hand through his hair quickly, continuing his path towards the marines already entering the ship.

As he spots the Sergeant and Pfc, Lucius lifts an arm up into the air and waves it enthusiastically towards him, and therefore the ship next to him. "C'mon, let's move, let's move!" His expression is almost completely nil.

Norton breaks into a deceptively slow double time. Left, right, left. Despite the rapid movements of his arms, he's not going much faster than he was while he was walking. Since he was walking fairly fast for a stocky Lunite, the jog will take him to the Riposte soon enough.

As it appears that all the marines who are in on the training have arrived at the Riposte, Lucius looks up the ramp momentarily and then down at the whistle he's so thoughfully brought with him. Smirking, he tucks it into a pocket and moves up the ramp himself.



Bridge <IND Riposte>

The bridge before you is cramped, with no natural view of space what so ever. Three consoles are spaced in a triangle, two towards the holographic viewscreen to the fore, and one command console set further behind. However, despite this lack of space, this ship is clearly a military vessel, with clean polished lines, and a look of precision to everything.

Lucius settles down in a nearby bench as a pilot of suitably low rank and smelly demeanour clears the takeoff with control and lifts the ship up from the bay.

Norton begins doing some last minute checking the of equipment of the marines he's kind of sort of serving as a squad leader for.

Dirionis checks his equipment as well, sitting down once hes all good. He glances at Lucius, as if expecting a briefing.

As the ship settles with a very audible THUMP on the nearly deserted landing pad (that is, besides the large purple rift a hundred or so meters away under lockdown), Lucius rises from his bench and taps on his helmet. "Alright ladies and gents. We're not going to far. But we are going to go quickly. I'll brief you more thoroughly once we're there. Stay in formation." With that and not much else, Lucius breaks into a quick jog out of the room and ultimately the ship.



Sandy Field <Deepcrest Island, New Luna>

This small field, at most as large as a football field, is comprised of sand, loose white sand which is pleasant to walk on. Dominating the field are two large landing craft, broken down and rusting with disuse. One is tilted precariously to one side, obviously the product of a rough landing. A few strange items lie about, half-buried by sand. A beaten down remnant of some kind of frame, arched in shape and set with doors and a window is rolled on it's back, and several plasteel boxes are buried by sand, only their top edges protruding. The landing craft themselves are utterly empty, nothing but gutted hulks. Another, wider and apparently well used path leads off further to the east.

And so, with a little bit of huffing and puffing the laden soldiers arrive at their area of training. How do they know this is their AO? Well, Lucius slows down to a stop and turns to the rest of the soldiers, crossing his arms. "Today, we're going to be going over some basics. Specifically, we're going to learn how to properly maneuver as part of a squad and to carry out proper attack and defense. This goes beyond simple open field battle - it's useful in all firefights."

Norton sets the flak jacket down and takes a seat on it. His expression remains bland, and he rests his forearms on his knees.

Dirionis stops with the rests of the soldiers in formation, he listens to Lucius with a nod.

"Now," Begins Lucius oncemore after a moment of quiet banter among the soldiers, "for the purposes of the drill we can assume contact with an enemy force of undeterminate size has been initiated. Whether we were the agressors or are simply reacting to the presence of enemy forces is not important. The most important things that you will have to consider are - sticking together with your team and coordinating actions with them, as well as mutually supporting eachother. I'm going to elaborate on this." He motions out to the field.

Norton sits on his flak jacket with his forearms resting on his knees. He follows Lucius's motion with his eyes.

Dirionis is among the marines, glancing at the terrain before again looking towards Lucius as he explains the training.

Volouscheur is quiet, watching Lucius. She's wearing her planet-side duty uniform and glowing pale green.

Lucius smiles tertly. "Suffice to say, I'm not going to go into much depth with regards to proper moving formations that the squad may have been in before the enemy was spotted." There is a pause. "As you know, soldiers such as us operate in fireteams; the squad is split in two. We have what is called the fire team, and the maneuver team. The fire team establishes a base of surpressive fire and will also call out possible targets for the maneuver team. The maneuver team is essentially an assault team; its objective is to close with and destroy the enemy. However, both teams must be capable of both roles, despite being more specialized."

Norton sniffs as he remains seated on the flack jacket.

Dirionis rubs his hands together a moment before folding his arms as he continues to list.

And the Vollistan remains silent, Scheur continuing to listen to Lucius.

"In short, because we only have one automatic rifle and heavy weapon per squad, the roles of Alpha team and Bravo team are a bit more rigid than we might ordinarily like. However, as I said, both teams are capable of acting in both fashions. This is only a note, as you will see in a moment." Lucius says. "During movement, a squad is split into these two fireteams. The first objective is to locate the enemy through both sight and sound. Then the squad leader and fireteam leader, in concert, will determine what the situation warrents as far as action." Again, Lucius turns outward and points to the other end of the trees. "In this case, we've observed the movement of what looks like a squad sized element of enemies near that tree line, conducting a patrol. Fireteam alpha.. that's Sergeant Norton, and you, you, and you," He points out Dirionis, Scheur and Frantz, "are in the lead. You will start the operation near that forward landing craft in the distance."

Norton shrugs as he gets up, leaving the flak jacket. "No reason to make this any more difficult that it has to be. Let's go, jokers. We're moving out in a wedge. Frantz, I want you on my left about..." He eyes the field. "Five meters out and two behind." He looks over at Dirionis. "You on my right same distance." He points to Volouscheur. "If you haven't forgotten everything you learned in your little practice sessions with the doc, you'd know I'd want you the same distance off Callot as he is off me."

Dirionis unstraps his flak jacket, letting it fall next to Norton's. He nods as he checks his weaponry, giving a nod to Scheur and Frantz.

Volouscheur just looks at Norton and then moves to the spot where Norton wants her, aura darkening slightly to matte green. She leaves her flak jacket on, however.

"Fireteam bravo will be about twenty meters behind you, at the location of the second landing craft. They will hang back and wait to work in concert with you." The remaing soldiers push up from their comfortable positions under the shady trees and jog on down to to the second rusted landing craft. Lucius walks alongside Alpha, a few meters off. "Now. What's important to remember is that you guys have to make known what it is you see, report it to the fireteam leader and then pending his order, surpress the enemy. This doesn't mean kill the enemy. This doesn't mean try to kill him, though if the opportunity presents itself take it. It means that you lay down as much fire as you possible can so that they cannot and do not want to move from their position."

In the distance, about a dozen men wearing camoflauged BDUs, as well, with no insignia, appear on the treeline. They are armed with what looks like paintball guns.

"All right," says Norton as he starts walking. He extends his left arm out from his shoulder with his forearm up before waving his forearm and palm forward. "Let's go. I set pace, but I have to keep a pace that is maintainable by the idiots behind us. If I start waving my arms around, that probably means I'm trying to tell you something without breaking comm silence. If you knew hand, arm signals, you'd probably know what I'm saying. Since you don't, and we're going through this painfully slow like, if I give a hand, arm signal, I'll say what I want you to do. Frantz, you watch our left flank and rear. Callot, you watch our right and front. Lightbulb, honey, you're in charge of watching our right flank and rear. All of you have to look at me every so often to make sure I'm not waving frantically to get your attention. Now, my job is to make sure we don't walk out of effective support range from the jokers behind us and get slaughtered. The squad leader is supposed to keep me in check if I get too antsy, and I have to look back at him for orders. I also have to make sure we're not lost, watch for ambushes, and do about six other things that would just blow your minds." He yells towards the treeline, "Look here, you cock cobbling mother fuckers, if any of you shoot at us on this waklthrough, I am going to personally beat seven kinds of hell out of you, and I only know five kinds off hand!"

Dirionis seems to have second thoughts, quickly grabbing his armor as he gets into position. He nods to Norton, "Gotcha, Sarge." He moves into a position where he can watch their right side, as well as the front, PAR out. " When does this thing start?"

Volouscheur offers a feeling of assent to Norton, sending out brief probes to see if anyone's approaching on the areas she's been assigned to keep an eye on.

Lucius nods in response to Norton. "That's right. The most important thing in battle is to always watch your enemy, but just as important is to always watch your rear and your flanks. This is where attacks come from. This is also where you want to attack them." He continues to move out past the landing crafts into the field beyond. On the right side of the field there is a raised piece of grooved land which is next to the jungle, and essentially could function as an impromptu, haphazard trench. This could perhaps be used to either side's advantage. Once he's in the middle of the field, he yells, "Set your weapons to non-lethal." After a moment's consideration, the opposing side have gathered into a few small bunches, laying down next to the lip of the forest. Lucius raises his whistle to his lips. "GO!" He yells, blowing it loudly then scrambling off to observe. It looks like Norton's team is to take the initiative.

"What the hell," snarls Norton as he pulls out a stun gun while flopping down on his belly. "All right, jokers, get on line with me." He pops off a shot while he gives that instruction. "Find whatever you can for cover. Frantz, me and you are just out here hanging, buddy." He turns his head to yell at Dirionis and Volouscheur, "You two malingering maggots, bound up to the trench thing. If we'd had more freaking time, you might know what I was talking about when I said that. Me and Frantz will give you what cover we can. Successive bounds, meatheads, right side moves up, left side moves up. It's just twenty meters. Even from behind me, you shits should get there in just five bounds." He yells over his shoulder, "Nine faggots acting like a bunch of turd burglaring incompetents. Don't know what they're packing. You scared little girls behind me, start moving around on the left."

Dirionis sets his Pulse Assault Rifle to non-lethal as he nods to Scheur, who was on the right side of him. " Go ahead."

Volouscheur unstraps her rifle, flipping it to non-lethal, and then bounding towards the trench. As she does so, she attempts to get a sort of camoflauge pattern going with her aura, to try and conceal her from view a bit.

Bravo team, with not much direction from behind is left in their current location. Their leader glances left and then right, finding the trench with his eyes and also taking into consideration the landing craft that they're perched behind. For now then, they take cover next to it, letting off a few innacurate shots to provide some cover.

Meanwhile, group one of the OpFor (that's Opposing Force), comprised of the majority of these paintball gun wielding boys and girls starts to fire at both Alpha and Bravo's members. A second group of the OpFor, group two rises up as they see Scheur and Dirionis moving to the trench and begin to try and head for it themselves. This of course leaves them exposed.

"Move," Norton yells at Dirionis. He and Frantz pick themselves up, sprint forward a few steps, and crash back down on the sandy field. They fire once they are prone again. "That's a bound, gosh darnit. We don't have time for this boo-hooing one person at a time! You two are moving forward as a team." He yells back at bravo team, "What the hell is wrong with you stupid, oxygen thieving retards? I told you to flank around on the left. Get up, run your happy selves back into the jungle, and come around on the left side of the clearing. Then, you will turn to face the enemy and attack them. You will signal me prior to reaching their position so that I can shift and lift fires. What is so hard to freaking understand about this?"

Dirionis starts to bound as he hears the action, barrel rolling to the side as he sees fire about to be shot. "Scheur, get down! Second group, on the move, heading for our trench, 11 o clock..." He's a little behind Scheur.

...bit too late, Diri. Scheur gets hit in the left arm, sleeve quickly soaked with...green? Yep, it's green; not even a flesh-would, in reality. She drops to the ground to try and make herself less of a target, crawling towards the trench and trying to spot the group Diri's referring to.

Bravo squad now has a purpose - though there are a rife of red paintballs smashing around where they are, they're close enough to the cover and far enough from the OpFor not to be troubled by these. They move around the left side of the landing craft and begin to head up that side of the field, obscured by the second landing craft's frame.

OpFor group one, not encountering any return fire (besides Dirionis's shot which makes them relent for a moment) continues to shoot at Alpha. More specifically though, they spot movement from Bravo team and concentrate most of their fire on them, ignoring Scheur and Dirionis for the moment. OpFor group too doesn't ignore, however; the three of them continue to move towards the trench to meet the two - and they continue to be exposed to shots.

Norton and Frantz shoot at the three moving towards the trench. Then, they pick up and rush forward a bit before crashing down again. Those paying attention would probably notice that they're angling towards the trench. He yells, "Get in the trench."

Dirionis picks up the technique in a near instant, getting one more bound in before he gets into the trench, PAR raising to crack shots off at the vunerable three moving in, trying to capture the trench before they had a chance.

Volouscheur dives into the trench, leaving a smear of green against one of the walls as she bounces off it. She aims at the trio moving in, firing off a shot of her own at them.

As Diri and 'Scheur enter the supposed safety trench, they come face to face with none other than Jan's pistol barrel. The pilot is crouching down in the trench about 15 meters to their fore, and lets off two shots at them as they move into the trench.

This new barrage of fire has unexpected consequences for group two of the OpFor. Despite the fact that they're not hit by the weapons' fire, they dive down to take cover behind the little lip of the jungle as the bolts whiz above their head with fury. Group one however has nobody surpressing them - some turn their attentions to the trenching, firing fruitlessly, while still others fire on Norton and Frantz.

The trump card of Bravo Squad has been played - they are now succesfully advancing up the left flank, tearing through the woods at a very fast pace; afterall, they haven't been burdened with the paintballs whizzing towards them. By now they've almost reached the opposing lines.

Norton does a nifty combat roll before he gets to his feet and bounds this time, firing at group one once he's back in the prone. He doesn't notice the paintball that splattered his former position as he began the roll. Frantz, meanwhile, stumbles as he rushes forward to avoid the paintball aimed at him. He goes down a bit early thanks to the stumble, but he still fires towards group one. Norton yells, "What's your situation in the trench?"

Dirionis widens his eyes as his reaction was rather poor. Jantine? He looks confused, shifting to the side as he raises his weapon, shot missing him. He takes aim, the cackle of his weapon now heard, shots intent for Jantine.

Volouscheur is hit quite squarely in the chest. She kind of crumples to the ground, most definitely down for the count. The safety to her rifle is flipped on, and then it's set down as Scheur plays dead.

Jantine had apparently been expecting return fire, and rolled to the side to avoid it. He fires twice again at Diri, a small smile spreading over his face as he mouths "Just like target practice"

This is about the time that Bravo has finished their flanking maneuver. All five of them pause at the lip of the jungle and the OpFor's line of battle, crouching down in various positions to open up with (non)lethality on the camoflauged, paintball wielding assailants. WHOOSH go the non-lethal energy bolts.

Group One, meanwhile, is very confused as two of their members are hit by fire from Nortn and Frantz and go down, playing dead. Then more of them go down in hails of fire from bravo team, having flanked about. There is only one left - he now returns the favour towards a member of Bravo. Groupe two, meanwhile, not pinned anymore, rise up to head into the trench - coming face to face with Norton and Frantz as they move towards the position, too. Shocked, they open fire hastily.

Norton reaches towards his second pistol as rolls when he sees the pair popping up. Frantz rolls the opposite direction, but he's dealing with a better shot who anticipated the rolling, taking a paintball graze across the shoulder. Both marines shoot at the pair. Norton's pulled out his other pistol which is a DS type in paintball mode. As he shoots both weapons at the very close enemy combatants, he says, "Might as well play action hero. That's the only way we're getting out of this snafu."

Dirionis nots Scheurs fall, twisting to avoid the shot, it hits him in the arm. As he shoots again, he says, " One critically wounded! Ambush!" He fires another round of his weapon at the ever elusive Jantine, eyes squinting in focus.

That finally gets Jan. His next turn takes him right into Diri's shot, right in the stomach in fact. As the air is knocked out of Jan, he manages to fire off two more shots before tumbling backwards.

Combat appears to be winding down. Opfor group one has been neutralized by Bravo team, who now begin to move towards the position of Norton's attackers. One of the men Norton shoots at is hit, sitting down, while the over avoids his shot. Frantz's man goes down, as well.

Lucius comes out of the woods with an ambivalent expression on his face, whistle in his mouth. The sound of the implement fills the area. "CEASE FIRING!" He yells, voice booming. Then he simply crosses his arms in front of his chest and waits for people to come out.

Norton gets to his feet, dusting himself off. He yells, "That's it. On your feet, corpses. Link up with the sergeant first class."

Dirionis chuckles, hand offered to help Jantine up. " Nice shootin', Tex." He jokes.

Jantine grasps Diri's hand, and allows himself to be pulled up. Whooping, he slaps Diri on the back and with a glint in his eye says fairly jokingly "Almost had you there man, teach you not to dis pilots!" before begining to walk over towards Lucius.

Lucius nods at the troops as they gather around, both OpFor and the assaulting teams. "Good work. Now we're going to go over what exactly went down in that engagement. A little more chaotic when you're on the field, but despite the fact that you may be concentrated on a single objective, there's a lot happening around you. Which is why this part is important." Lucius retrieves a stick, leaning down to draw a crude outline of the area, complete with trench and two landing craft in the sand.

Watching without comment, Norton checks his pistols and puts them away in their holsters. Then, he takes a seat and folds his arms across his knees.

Dirionis puts his weapon on safety as he heads over to Lucius, nodding in agreement as he looks at the drawing.

Jantine follows suit, holtstering his pistol as well, and falling silent as he reaches Lucius.

"Bravo team started off about twenty meters behind Alpha, in a formation we call bounding overwatch. This is used when contact with the enemy is expected, and gives one team the ability to mask the other team's movements. As we'll see, this succeeded." Scraping the stick across the ground, he points up to where the lip of the forest was and draws some Xs in that area. "This is where the OpFor was. As soon as they came under fire from Alpha team, they got into a defensive position. However, they didn't remain static. They saw Pvt. Callot and Volouscheur moving to outflank them from the right and reacted with their own men. This is the normal response from an enemy and it should be expected that they will move in turn with you. Meanwhile, masked by the covering fire, Bravo team moved far around the left."

Norton takes a pack of smokes out of a pocket on his top. The pack is slightly crushed, but this doesn't seem to deter the marine as he takes a cigarette out and sticks it in his mouth.

Dirionis nods along as he scratches the side of his face. Jantine seems content just watching for now, his part hasn't come in yet, so he doesn't seem too terribly interested, he definately is paying attention however.

"Lucky for you guys, that is alpha and bravo, the main body of the OpFor decided to stay put. This is a very dangerous thing. Staying put, especially behind a defensive position such as the lip of the jungle puts you at a huge disadvantage and leaves you open to outflanking. This is exactly what happened." Lucius draws Bravo moving up the left side of the battlefield. "Of course, Alpha's distraction was very useful. Both privates were able to make it into the trench, but there was a surprise waiting.. a lone tiger, so to speak." He nods at Jantine. "Always expect surprises to be abound. Lucky for you guys, there was no people in your rear or your sides. Normally, you must watch these two areas most because this is where you're most vulnerable. However, I'm sure both soldiers can attest that they were rather surprised when Osligoth happened to be there."

Norton leaves the cancer stick unlit as it dangles out of the corner of his mouth. His face remains bland as he listens to the sergeant first class.

Dirionis nods and grunts, "Yeah, took us by suprise." He looks back at Lucius.

Jantine grins a little after that, obviously paying a bit more attention now.

"Exactly. That is the least of your surprises in a real battle. When facing troops.. especially facing troops like the irregular PANL, expect lots of surprises. Everywhere, all at once, on your flanks, in your rear.. you can never be too careful. Ambush is something we'll deal with another day, though." Lucius taps the stick against his leg. "The Sergeant and Private Frantz were also able to distract and move up the right flank, causing much more confusion in OpFor's ranks. They had no real idea what was going on but kept firing even as they were fired upon. This was where the big part came in - Bravo showed up on the opposite flank and totally eliminated the OpFor just as the OpFor's reaction team was mostly destroyed by Frantz and Norton. And here's the important lesson - you need to cover your friends so that they can wipe out the enemy. While cover fire was only used part of the time by Alpha team, they distracted the OpFor enough so that Bravo's movements went unnoticed."

Norton's mouth opens slightly, but he simply uses it to take a breath while he remains quiet.

It looks like the action is being discussed as Norton sits with a cigarette dangling out of the corner of his mouth. Lucius is talking as Jantine, Dirionis, and some other marines stand around and listen.

Dirionis nods to Lucius. " True...Gotta keep that in my head." He strokes his chin a second.

Jantine stays where he is, watching.

Lucius pauses for a few moments so that this can soak in. "Today you've learnt the basics about fire and maneuver tactics. I expect to see you practicing this among yourselves on downtime in opposing times, both trying to do the same thing. Today's drill was idealized, as the enemy only sent a small force around to flank you guys. Don't think for a second that this is the way things are going to be in real combat." Another pause. "Now, to make this easy I'm going to simplify what you learnt today. The Four Fs are useful in this respect. They are, Find - that is, find the enemy. Fix - fix them in place with surpressive fire. Then, one team Flanks and moves around the side. They can't move around the back, because if they do that then they will be firing upon their own troops in a crossfire. In the end, they Finish the enemy by taking them out. Many times this won't be as easy as it sounds, and the teams will have to take turns performing flanking and surpressing movements so that everyone moves up and is in a good position to support their comrades. Now, does anyone have questions?"

Norton rolls the cancer stick to the other side of his mouth before he speaks. "It was ate up like a soup sandwich. Bravo team didn't start moving until I broke out crayons. Marines don't know individual movement techniques. We need to do one on one stuff before we get to team before we get to squad. This was too much too fast. We should have had a talk through, walk through, and then gone through full speed if those went all right. That's before you even factor in going up against opfor. If this had been real and not training, I'd have broke contact when my team ran into the squad sized element in the wood line, anyway. We just won because they were ate up. I guess this is more throw them into the pool instead of inching in than I am used to, sergeant."

An agreement is heard from Callot after hearing Norton's idea, " we have to make sure we don't overlook anything, because if its for real, they're no second shots."

Lucius nods at Norton. "Duly noted, Sergeant Norton. It was to give them a taste of what things are actually like. I didn't have the time, unfortunately, to do a full detail like you said. They were thrown into this hastily exactly because of the reasons you've listed though, and I expect that we will be working on all individual and team coordination before we go at this situation again. But it was necessary, at the same time, to give them an idea. Everyone draws something different from this experience.. but everyone draws something useful at the same time. Any more questions?"

Norton shakes his head in the negative.

Dirionis follows suit with Norton. None here.

Lucius claps his hands together. "Good. You guys did well, but you've got a lot to work on. Sergeant Norton and I are going to be there to help you with that. If you've got any questions in the future, you know where to ask. Other than that.. cleanup and let's ship out."

Norton walks over and collects his flak jacket from where he left it at the start of the training exercise. Looking around, he asks, "Where'd the pilot get off to?"

Dirionis scratches his head and looks around. "Hes probably waiting in ambush again...You shoulda saw it, Sarge, I walked right into the barrel, and...Dodged that shot...Felt like a movie.." He says, playing it back in his head.

"We're all a bunch of action stars, hero. I was firing off both barrels for a while there," says Norton to Dirionis as he looks around the clearing. "That's not the pilot I'm talking about, though." There's a pause. "You did get that lame throttle jockey, though, didn't you? No living it down if he lived through this little exercise." He returns to his original subject, "No, the pilot I'm talking about is the one that flew us down here. Where'd she get off to?"

A sharp eye will note the pilot in question heading in the general direction of the two marines along the beach path, looking somewhat unsettled by the way the sand shifts under her feet. She's got her coverall half off with the sleeves tied around her waist, leaving her in just a sweat-stained blue t-shirt...and she looks like she's been digging around in the innards of some machine or other, because there are little smudges of grease and oil all over her face and arms.

Dirionis lets a wry smile fill his face. " Ohhhh yeah, I got em." He runs a hand through his hair. " Scheur did get taken down from him, and he got me in the arm...He didn't go down withou..." His sentence is cut short as he sees the woman approaching. " Looks like our ride is here, boys." He says to Norton and company.

"She doesn't count. If she wants to be a marine, she can come talk to me. Till then, she's barely rated as a useful life form," says Norton as he looks over in the direction of Petra. "Jolly good show, wot, wot!" He starts walking in her direction with the cigarette dangling out of his mouth and the flak jacket held over his shoulder.

Petra pauses as the marines start to walk in her direction. Once they're close enough to not have to shout to, she waves an arm as if to take in all of New Luna, "...I'm finding it really hard to believe that people actually CHOOSE to live here!" That said, she absently wipes sweat off her forehead with one hand...which unfortunately leaves a smudge of greas in it's wake. The diminutive pilot doesn't seem to notice, however, "Are you guys about ready? I've got the ship prepped."

Dirionis gets a slight frown as he follows after Norton. " Aww, come on Sarge...Shes a good marine. She has been out there in the cross fire with me, and when it comes to that, you start forming bonds of trust that are hard to break." His head tilts down as his more than six foot height looks down at the pilot. " Well...We are on a beach, ya know.." He pauses, checking his gear. " I'm good to go." He takes off his flak jacket.

Norton follows Petra's gesture with a look around. "Might surprise you, darling, but this is more the natural environment of the species than places like Luna or Unsgtir. Or space. Spacers are always griping. Bunch of whiney snots with runny noses all the time. Fresh, non-manufactured air, water, green stuff, dirt. Yeah, it's the life." He looks over his shoulder and waves, "Let's go, jokers. We got us a free ride to enjoy." He tells Dirionis, "She don't act like it, slick. She acts like an overgrown cooter. This is the first time I've seen her without being physically attached to the doc. Instead of hearing my class the other day, she went off to play doctor instead of learn some basics."

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