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Swimming With Sharks
Summary: A quiet day on one of New Luna's signature beaches yields far more than bargained for.
Cast: Jantine, Alandra, Lucius, Norton, Dirionis, Tirax
Air Date: 2007.04.02


Golden Beach <Deepcrest Island, New Luna>


This long, straight beach is coated in a golden, silky sand near the water and a soft, fine white sand, almost like powdered sugar, away from the waterline. A few leaves of seaweed are washed up, as well as shells here and there, but overall the beach is clean and sparkling. Where the trees come close to the water, some strange animals, shaped like ferrets but having monkeylike tails and limbs, play in the surface happily, squeaking like merecats. A few dolphins can be seen cresting the surface out not too far in the water.


"No matter what I say right now, you're going to blame Ruin for it," she says simply.


"Do you want me to blame him or /you/, Lan? Tell me what is going on, we can work this out, if you /tell/ me I might not blame him. /Trust/ me." Jan almost begs, pain in his voice. Jan and Lan are down by the water, Jan has tears streaming down his face, and Lan's back is to the pad, and him. "I don't want to have to leave you...I still love you to...I don't think I could live without you, please Lan..." Jan pleads, voice softer.


Unaware of the potential heartshaking drama that could potentially be taking place here on this sunny morning, Lucius Tullius Castus, Sergeant First Class in the New Lunite Militia comes walking down the golden beach. By the way he looks around it would seem apparent he is on patrol.


Alandra turns around and looks at Jan. "It has a lot to do with things that happened to me when we were being held on Sivad," she says. "I don't know what is going to happen. There are things I have to do, and you can't go with me. I'm sorry. And that isn't because I don't love you, or trust you, but because only I can do it. Do you understand?"


Jantine blinks a little, nodding "But that doesn't mean you can't /tell/ me about it Lan...don't lie to me, Lan. Tell me what is going on, it'll hurt me less to let you do the things you have to do, even if it means I'm sick with worry, than to know that you are living a lie to me. Please Lan...how is this going to work if we don't trust each other?" tears are still coming, but the kid isn't breaking into sobs, he doesn't seem to notice Lucky, yet.


The two people on the beach don't get too much notice from the Sergeant, though he does seem aware as to their presence. He pauses for a moment as something seems to come in on his commlink and comes to a full stop. Nodding, the man doesn't respond. Lucius does, however, pull out a smoke.


"I don't want to talk about it, Jan," she says, "I don't want to talk about it to anybody. I want to make it right first and then if I feel I can talk about it after that, I will."


Jan sighs, tears still rolling down his cheeks, he looks down "Lan...don't do this to me...you hurt me enough already with /one/ lie, don't /live/ one. Don't do this to me..." Jan and Lan are down near the water, Jan's a bit of a distance from Lan, and she has her back to the pad and Jan. Lucky is off elsewhere, pulling out a smoke.


Lucius rubs his chin as he waits for whoever'd called him on his commlink, shifting his rifle so that it's in a more comfortable carrying position and lighting his smoke. It's only now that he takes full notice of Jantine and his fiancee, watching with detached interest from a distance.


Norton is grinning his standard malevolent/friendly grin which just depends on who it is that is making the judgement call. He's also smoking a cigarette. He's got no rifle.


"Jan, I didn't lie to you. I haven't lied to you yet. But you probably wouldn't believe that anyway. Like I said you're probably just going to blame it all on Ruin no matter what I say," she says in a level tone. "Unless your willing to listen, and I mean /really/ listen, then I don't know what else to tell you."


"Lan...that's what I've been begging to do this whole time, /let/ me listen." Jan pleads "I can't really listen if you don't give me a chance to." he adds, softer, he looks down again "And...you did lie to me...you promised me that you wouldn't make any decisions without me, and you did. Lan, today was supposed to be /our/ day...I want, no, I need to know why /our/ day got postponed." Jan doesn't seem to have noticed either Lucky or Norton yet.


Lucius motions towards the duo talking about fifteen or twenty meters away, smirking at Norton. "Heya sir. Check this out."


Walking over, Norton does, indeed, check this out. He grins some more and takes a drag on his cigarette before he says, "Egads, man, it's a pair of the rare and highly skittish yellow bellied boobies. I think this is some sort of highly formalized courtship ritual or one of their million and one mourning aspects. They are easily confused. Most studiers of the booby have given up on seperating the one from the million. Some suspect the one does not actually exist."


Alandra looks past Jan to the two that are staring at them, then back to Jantine again. She lowers her voice as she speaks now, "Your friends are finding us highly amusing," she says in a slightly sarcastic tone.


Jantine blinks, looking behind him for a minute, before focusing his gaze on the other pair. Norton is ignored, once recognized, but Lucky? He gets a confused look, which quickly turns saddened, he turns back to Lan "They aren't my friends. Lets go somewhere else, more private" he replies softly, turning and beginning to move towards the pad. He moves slowly, perhaps so Lan can catch up, if she wishes.


"Uh-oh, I think they've noticed us. Will the mating ritual continue, or is that interruption enough for confusion and ultimately, sacrifice to ensue as the boobies skitter away?" Lucius asks, in the same tone as Norton - that of a documentary's narrator.


"Tune in next week? Ah, bah." Just as he finishes saying that and tosses away his cigarette, there is a thump in the distance. Then, a whistling sound comes quickly closer. "Oh, fuck. COVER!" He darts away from his spot towards the trees.


"Skittish creatures, the yellow bellied booby flees at the first signs of life not being smooth sailing and chocolate covered strawberries," Norton gets out before the whistling of the incoming mortar round attracts his attention. The round, unless it was after the dastardly fish bandit of Deepcrest, is poorly aimed. It splashes into the surf with a geyser of water errupting.


Alandra follows after Jantine, but runs for cover herself when she hears Lucius shout. There is fear on her face as she peeks out to see what is going on, and relief when the round lands in the water.


Jantine looks, puzzled, but breaks into a run with Lan, heading to whatever cover she finds. He looks over at Norton and Lucky, calling out "Are we in danger? What's going on?" in a relatively stable, and neutral voice.


Norton is, along with Lucius, face down eating sand. Alandra and Jantine are doing the same thing, probably less grittily. Dirionis probably heard an explosion.


Lucius doesn't draw attention to his own position as he stops by the treeline, pulling his rifle free. He scans the area very quickly. He waves his hand in front of his face at the former NLM pilot, as if hand gestures should be enough.


Plink! That same sound that was heard before the first explosion, followed by a whistle comes from the air. This time the mortar finds a closer mark - land. It explodes near nobody, spraying sand and shrapnel everywhere. At the same time there is the sound of rifle fire. A tourist on the beach goes down in a red puff. Meanwhile another shot rings out, landing a good seven or eight feet away from Jantine and Alandra.


Norton, from the looks of his fingers, is counting seconds between the mortar fire and the mortar explosion as he scurries over to the woodline, ending up in the prone near Lucius. He's smart enough to only need one hand for the tallying of seconds, though, pulling an energy pistol free with the other.


Dirionis hears the shots, and immeditately moves for the trees, doing the same as Dave, being behind him as an energy pistol makes its way into his hand. "What the fuck is goin' on?"


Alandra shaking now tries to crawl toward the trees where the officers are.


Jantine blinks a little at Lucky, "Fuck." he says quietly. He follows after Lan, crawling through the sand towards everyone else.


"Both of you!" Lucius says in a low growl, turning to the new arrival and putting his index finger over his mouth. The Sergeant then rises into a crouch, pointing at the tree. In the same low voice he says, "There, the treeline. I saw two muzzle flashes.. the mortar's about fifty meters away, to the northeast. Want me to lay some surpressive fire on them sir, while you two flank?"


Whoever's been feeding spotting tips to the person operating the mortar is getting better. This one flies up into the air and lands on the same area as the tourist who'd just been felled by a rifle shot - finishing the job and exploding the tourist's companion at the same time. Blood and bits of body parts fly in all directions, creating a disgusting scene. A group of surfers running down the beach meantime come under fire by a new weapon, a small caliber submachine gun from the sound of it. The rifle shots, too, turn themselves to this group, felling a few of them while some others get away.


"All right, here's the deal. Yeah, Sarge, you're going to reach out and touch them while me and my erstwhile buddy with a pistol try some freaky, deaky sneaky moves up along through the woodline." Looking over to survey the rest of the situation, he spots Alandra and Jantine, "You get paid to get shot at and move towards gunfire? No, so don't move towards where people are going to be concetrating it, yellow bellied boobies. You know what, screw it, you two want to get shot, more power to you. I'll even leave my stun gun for you to shoot back with." He sets said weapon down before nodding to Callot, "Up and at 'em, Callot. Think small. Big sarge, think one shot, one kill. And don't hit me in the ass. I got a career as an underwear model to think about." He's an officer, so he gets paid to talk a lot. He does, however, crawl a few yards out into the woodline towards a solid looking tree which he crouches behind that should be between him and most of the shooting once he's done with his blathering.


Dirionis nods to Norton, following after him and picking a different tree, swiftly moving and crouching behind it and giving a little glance to look for more gunfire. "Someone goin' to call for backup via comm?" He says, energy pistol clenched in his hand.


Alandra changes course and crawls as quickly as she can, keeping as low to the ground as she can, toward the concrete pad.


Jantine blinks a little, looking at the proffered stun gun. He shakes his head, and begins to crawl after Lan, the former pilot seems to remember how to do so, even if he wasn't exactly a marine.


Lucius brings the reflex sight of his rifle up to his eye, painting the area with the barrel of his weapon where he'd seen a quick succession of muzzle flashes fly from. "One shot." He cradles his trigger, not firing for a brief moment. Then he spots a russle in the bushes. His finger pulls back, sending a bullet flying. "GO!" He says, shifting base around the tree.


The bush that was fired upon abruptly goes silent. The only person left firing now is one of the rifleman. Another crack is heard as he sends it towards one of the fallen surfers, missing by a metre or two.


"Anybody close enough to make a bit of difference already heard the explosions," says Norton before he bolts to another tree under the cover of Lucius's shooting. He fires off a few shots just to clear the air between himself and the opposition, aiming at Mr. Rifleman. And, probably, to further cover Dirionis's move.


Jan and Alandra are crawling off towards the pad. Various casualties litter the beach. Norton and Diri are sneaking about in the woods while Lucius provides cover.


Dirionis doesn't hesitate, moving as quickly as he can, keeping low. Settling behind a tree, he lets out some shots to return the favor of Norton's semi-supressive fire.


Tirax comes a-wandering down the beach. At the sound of gunfire he blinks, looking around and spotting the casualties, runs up the beach and dives into the forest.


Alandra continues on in the direction she is going keeping as low as she can while still trying to move as quickly as she can.


Jantine continues following after Lan, crawling through the sand in the direction of the pad.


All four bolts slam home into the man, who looks like he was wielding an old bolt action hunting rifle. Two in the belly burn him deeply and a third one catches him in the face, delivering the killing blow. The forth blue streak simply compounds the fact that yes, this man is dead. Unfortunately for the marines it looks like everybody else who was in the forest besides the rifle wielding man is gone; this is of course except for the hunched over body of a man by the treeline, in a small pool of blood. A slugthrower bullet seems to have passed cleanly through his chest, leaving a fairly big hole.


Lucius rises up, keeping his rifle set towards the forest. "We clear?" He comms.


The overall damage is considerable. Two spots on the beach are black from what looks like mortar explosions. One of these has a variety of charred body parts scattered around it. There are two further corpses on the beach and a few wounded, all surfers by the look of their clothing.


"Looks that way, but I wouldn't dance naked around the fire quite yet," answers Norton who continues to move from tree to tree in the direction of the guy he and Dirionis shot. "Check out your kill, sergeant, you got one right? Callot, call for medical aid and assist on the beach. Carefully. If they're smart, they'll shoot that up."


Dirionis nods, making his way from tree to tree towards the beach line, carefully. He speaks into his comm, "Corporal Dirionis Callot to HQ, we have a hostile situation on the beach of Deepcrest, numerous civilian casualties, requesting medical assistance."


Tirax looks up from the bush he's apparently dived into and peers around, seeing if he can spot what's going on.


Alandra continues on her way toward the concrete pad. As soon as she reaches it she gets out of there as fast as she can.


Jantine simply follows after Lan, without even a backwards glance.


"Yeah, I got one. Moving in now." Lucius crouch runs along the treeline, yelling, "CLEAR THE AREA! MEDIC UP FRONT!" His head is pointed downward when he moves into a crouched run, stopping at the bush. "Dead, sir." He moves around to clear the woods.


"Where'd that doctor get off to?" Norton calls out as he looks towards the beach from the trees briefly. Then, his attention returns to the presumably dead guy he is closing the distance on. Crouching down with his knee on the guy's chest, he pokes the guy in the eye, looking around. Getting no response, he takes another look around before collecting the rifle from the body. "Mine's dead, too." He joins Lucius's search of the immediate vicinity.


Tirax looks up at the sound of Lucius's voice. "Sarge?!" he shouts. "That you?"


Alandra stops when she hears Norton call out for a doctor. She hesitates long enough to make sure the gun fire has stopped for now, and heads back toward the beach. "Where do you need me?" she asks.


Jantine blinks, turning around "Lan...come on, we don't know if they'll come back..." he pleads, looking a little nervously towards the trees where fire had been coming from.


"I'm going to go see if I can pick up their trail, sir. I'll keep in radio contact." Lucius says after determining that the woods in the direct vicinity are clear. He moves on through them, keeping his weapon at the ready and soon dissapears into the foilage.


The five surfers who didn't make it off the beach are groaning - well, the three that are alive are. Two of the others lay motionless.


"No, it's just me and Easter Clause out here, recruit," yells Norton. "You got any medical training? Help them out on the beach if they need it. Looks like the bad guys done gone and unassed the area. I'm pulling in the perimeter until the reinforcements show." Despite yelling this, he points at Lucius and then points to his eyes before waving an arm to indicate the general area off the beach. As he runs back towards the beach, he hollers, "Use your God given eyes and ears, woman, look to who you can help quick with nothing."


"No medical training sir," yells back Tirax, slowly sticking his head up. He does however move quickly in the direction of Alandra once he's assessed the area and realised that no, he's not about to get shot by anyone. "...You need a hand?" he calls to her. "I ain't got medical training, but I can help where needed."


Alandra nods to Tirax as she hurries toward the downed surfers. "Hurry!" she shouts before breaking into a run.


Jantine sighs a little, shaking his head and breaking into a run after Lan, still with an occasional glance towards the treeline "I've got basic first aid training if you need it, Lan." Jan does call after her.


Norton crouches by one of the surfers who is suffering, dying more accurately, from having his leg seperated from his body above the knee. Norton regards the injury for a moment as he rummages about in a first aid kit on his gear, producing a tounequette. There is some fumbling as he gets the device on a bit too far up the leg, but the bleeding, which was already minimal due to blood loss, gets stopped. After that, Norton checks for a pulse. Sirens can be heard off in the distance. The other suffers are suffering from a sucking chest wound and a minor head wound combined with some minor shrapnel in the arms and legs.


Dirionis makes his way towards the surfer's as well, hurrying as he gets to the side of one of them, unwrapping a bandage from a kit, and quickly and shoddily applying it to the surfer's head, cursing, but stopping the minor blood flow.


Tirax runs alongside Alandra, keeping up with broad strides. "You just tell me what to do," he says while running.


Alandra hurries to the one surfer that is left. Going to her knees beside him she quickly sizes up the situation, "I need something to close this up with!" she shouts as she applies pressure to the wound with her hand for now.


Jantine just follows after Lan, stopping a slight distance from the scene, he sighs a little, glancing again at the treeline, before looking between Lan and the First Aid kit.


Norton tosses a large, olive drab thing in Alandra's direction. He says, "Use the package to stop the air leak. Use the bandage to secure it in place. Roll him on his other side. Wait? Why am I telling you this?" He goes back to checking the pulse of his guy who seems to be suspiciously not moving. He looks towards the first ambulance which is slowing to a stop nearby. "My guy first, then the doc's, then Corporal's." He tells the paramedics as they get off. After that much is said, he stalks off, collecting his stungun where he left it at the woodline before entering the trees, speaking on his commlink as he goes.


Dirionis finishes up the bandaging job, standing and nodding to Jan and Lan, checking the treeline carefully.


Tirax moves quickly to grab the kit tossed to Alandra. He brings it over to her with speed granted to him by his long legs. "Here," he says shortly. "Brought directly to your door."


Not even listening to Norton, "Put your hand here," she says grabbing Tirax's with her free one and pressing it to the wound, "Keep the pressure firm," she says as she takes the bag and begins pulling from it everything she needs, "Jan I'm going to need you to help roll him over," she says as her hands move automatically to do the job. She quickly gets everthing in place and secure over the wound. "Now turn him," she instructs.


Jantine nods "Alright." he says softly, moving to do as instructed, and turning him over, he glances at the approaching paramedics, however "Think we should let them get these guys out of here..." he trails.


Other marines show up along with the ambulances. They quickly melt into the woodland edging onto the beach. It seems relatively quiet, though, on the shooting and blowing stuff up front.


Tirax nods, following Alandra's orders in silence, for once without a smarmy comment or two.


Alandra finishes patching the holes in the surfer and helps the medics to get him onto a stretcher? gurney? whichever it is. "Thank you for your help," she says looking to Tirax. "Anybody else need help? She asks looking around and sizing up the scene quickly.


Jantine just sighs a little, nodding to Diri a little, but then turns to Lan, softly speaking "Come on Lan...lets get out of here...there isn't anyone else you can help."


The paramedics get the people loaded with the help of Alandra and such others as assist, getting the lives ones moving before the dead ones. The situation is pretty much like Jantine says.


Dirionis steps into the woods, carefully, watching warily. "Fuckers can still be in here."


"Jus' doin my job," Tirax says, helping and standing. He looks about for Norton, if he's still around.


Alandra nods to Tirax, "Still, I apretiate it," she says before turning to Jan and nodding, "Let's go then," she says softly.


Comm traffic on the NLM channel indicates the marine captain is a few hundred meters off the beach, coordinating the search. Jantine nods, beginning to walk in the direction of the pad once again, relatively slowly, probably so Lan could catch up, if she wanted to, once again.


Dirionis continues to explore the forests, carefully.


Tirax listens to his comm, assuming he has one by now, then shrugs. He tells the closest person that he's heading back to base, being that he can't really do much sans weapon, and begins walking that way.


"See you again some time," Alandra calls back to Tirax as she follows after Jan.


And Jan leaves, heading in the direction of the pad, hands now retreating into his pockets.


Dirionis continues his scouring of the area.

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