|The Enemy Within: Fly Over|
|Summary:||An unlikely working agreement is reached between the New Luna Militia and the Watchers.|
|Cast:||McDowell, Lucius, Jantine, Taeren, Petra|
Next: Broken Down
Landing Bay <Hancock Station>
- 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.
Jantine nods as he reaches the locker, he slides the helmet on with a slight woosh, completing his suit. And a moment later, a harsh, unnatural sounding voice emits from the mouth piece of the helmet "Gunner, taking the Hobart for a spin, need to get used to her." The face plate of the suit is polorized soon after Jan puts it on, but if Petra is close enough, she may see a rather pain stricken face. He checks a few systems on the suit before looking up again, obviously waiting for Petra.
There's a new face making his way out of the Landing Bay, those that know him would have been familiar with him being the Captain of the Saviour's Haste. But these days, Brandon appears to be on a purely social visit, and he's got a visitor's card currently attached to the collar of his suit. His eyes are just visable from behind the blue shaded shades he wears, and they slowly inspect the area. A cigarette hangs loosely from the left side of his mouth.
Petra shucks off her coveralls and puts on a flight suit as quickly as she can...which ism
Lucius walks in at Brandon's side, not puffing a cigarette but rather a fat, brown, smelly cigar. He wears a grin on his face and looks around, spotting the pilot. He squints but evidently cannot see his nameplate. Nevertheless, he decides to move closer, shuffling towards the duo.
Petra shucks off her coveralls and puts on a flight suit as quickly as she can...which is decently fast. Once she gets her helmet on, she looks up at Jantine and nods, "Good to go."
Jantine nods twice, first to Petra, then to the approaching marine "Sergeant" the unnatural sounding voice says "Just taking the new pilot on another flight, making sure she follows proper codes and all" he then turns around, and heads in the direction of the Hobart. Keeping up with his escort, Lucius, McDowell makes his way towards the two pilots, taking a drag and dropping it to the ground, where it's crushed under foot before being retrieved and discreeted away. He remains quiet for the time being, though he does watch them closely.
"Sure, Corporal. Keep safe up there, hmm? By the way - I could use you two at the next training op I'm putting down. You both could probably use a refresher in ground tactics. 'Member, no matter your assignment.. you're riflemen first." Lucius breaks into a grin. Petra turns and falls into step beside Jantine, deciding to not say anything for now."
Jantine nods "Of course Sergeant" he says, placing his hand on, where his holster should be. He pauses a moment as he turns his head to the side, although his polarized faceplate still shows no emotion. He heads back to the storage locker, and pulls out his holstered DS. He begins walking back in the direction of the Hobart, waving his pistol at Petra before putting it on "/Never/, leave this behind private."
Lucius idly stands, watching Jantine with a curious, slightly glazed over look. He exhales a big, irregularly shaped cloud of smoke into the air, eyebrows shooting up and brow furroughing.
Petra pauses for a moment, then trots over to the lockers, searches for a moment, then comes out with a big .45 automatic that more-or-less resembles the legendary M1911a1. She fiddles for a moment, then gets it into the flight suit's holster before jogging back over to Jantine.
"Don't fucking wave pistols around, or you'll have an accident," Brandon informs Jantine, his voice being rather cold and straight to the point. "I may be a vistor, and I mightn't be militia, but I know the hell what those can do in the hands of an idiot." His attention drifts across to Petra, and he simply arches a brow.
Jantine continues walking, the unnatural voice speaking "Safety's on, I know it doesn't look like it, but I know how to use it, took out the man who wounded the sergeant with it if that says anything" he reaches the Hobart, and enters, obviously not waiting for a reply.
Again, though, Lucius doesn't comment, although he does nod in Brandon's direction. The Hesperian grasps the cigar around its far, non lit end and removes it from his mouth. He shrugs at McDowell. "I have no idea. I was kinda slipping out of conciousness."
Petra gives one glance back at McDowell, then jogs after the taller pilot.
"If I end up working with him, /ever/, he's going to have a very nasty accident," Brandon quietly remarks to Lucius, even though he smiles casually at the Hobart and the crew inside. "Then again... You should show him how to shoot, Lucius, and how to handle the weapon."
Lucius starts by smirking at that.. and then laughing quite heartily. "He's not a terrible shot, it's true. Maybe that wouldn't be a bad idea, though. Then again I've got much more important things to worry about. Like showing the fourty percent of my platoon that're newbies how to shoot and move around in combat properly."
"Better you than me," Brandon remarks to Lucius, as he reaches into his jacket to adjust something inside. "Drop them on TeeKay for a few months, they'll either know how to shoot or end up dead." The smile slowly turns into something more sadistic. "I'll play that game with them."
Lucius snorts. "Yeah. I don't know if you remember or not.. well, evidently you don't, but I used to work for Mr. Marcuccilli at the Warren. Head of security for about a year. Now, it's not my type of place but you tend to learn.. adapt or die. And a lot of people belonged to the latter category."
"Heard of him, avoid crossing paths with the Warren," Brandon remarks, as he looks towards the other Martian. "Not a bad little place... Rather quaint." He laughs at his own pretty bad joke. "But yeah... Better you than me." Brandon and Lucius are currently speaking near the Riposte, but safetly away from any engine wash.
Lucius shrugs. "Why's that? In the past we were pretty amiable with ya. I remember getting you a few guns there.. some ammo too if I remember correctly, from my man George. Now Torr on the other hand.."
Taeren emerges from the inner lobby in a clean uniform, and starts walking towards the Riposte with a clipboard in his hand.
"I just don't want to get on the wrong side of some people," Brandon comments, as he slips his gloved hands into his pockets. "Though I have done business there in the past. George... Guy just down from the guy who sells those geniune imitation original Sivadian brand watches, yeah?" He idlely glances in Tay's direction, but pays no regards to the Timonae.
Taeren pauses at the base of the ramp, and turns. "Hey," he calls. "Sarge. C'mere." He considers a moment before adding, "we might need a gunner."
Lucius laughs at Brandon, shaking his head. "No, the guy with the big beard who sells big bore ammunition as well as custom stuff.. I get all my ten milli rounds from him, even still. Looks like one of those oldschool bikers you see on the old holovids." The Martian glances towards Taeren and jogs on over, nodding. "Mind if Mr. McDowell accompanies us? He's got a visitor pass."
McDowell's face lights up in acknowledgement. "yeah... I know that guy, had a shit tin of rifle rounds, before they ended up vented," he replies, as he looks towards Tay. "Lucius can't hit shit, he shoots like an old lady with a water pistol..." He trails off, and then glances towards Lucius. "You certainly are going to make use of my services, aren't you?"
Taeren frowns, clasping his hands behind his back. "In this case, he might prove useful." The Timonae turns and stalks aboard, adding, "maybe he'll see something we don't. But we're not paying him!"
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.
Petra blinks behind her faceplate over at Jantine, but doesn't say anything for the moment. She makes sure all the weapons and shields show green, then puts them on standby idle.
Jantine is seated at the pilots station, Petra at the gunnery station, both are wearing flight suits, Jan's faceplate is polarized, rendering his face invisible. Jan sits at the controls a moment more, before gradualy begining to ease the craft up.
Taeren comes to rest behind the command console of this cramped cockpit, hands behind his back. "Corporal," he greets Jantine, "Make us ready and undock at your own pace. I'm sure you know Mr. McDowell. Who's your friend?" Taeren, like the other two, are not wearing atmosphere suits.
The clanking of combat boots announcs the presence of Lucius, who is busy slinging his helmet on his uniform's D-ring and then moving towards the Weapons Console. "Hey, Mac, I don't appreciate that.. once took out a whole pirate's ship meself, you know. I'm not too shabby, they used to crosstrain us in gunnery on the Resistance. Thing had about fifty turrets on it or something, so the marines were needed." Notes Lucky, who then laughs. He arches an eyebrow at Petra. "Got some experience shooting, Private?"
"Just teasing you Lucky," Brandon comments, as he follows the Marine into the bridge. "I knew this was a day where I should have just gone hunting," the man mutters to himself, before moving across to a safe region of the bridge. "Brandon Starchaser-McDowell... One of Ryan's Heros." He announces to the two atmosphere suited figured on the bridge. And finally, for Tay. "The Generlismo covers my and my own's expenses and some contracting... When he's not vanished."
Petra looks up at Lucius as the marine approaches her station, "...not yet, Seargent." She then looks over at Taeren, "Private Millivestant." Jantine nods "Saved his ship from crashing" he says in the harsh unnatural voice of the suit as he takes the ship out of the bay, "This is our newest pilot Captain"
Taeren snorts. "Ryan's Heroes," he repeats. "Humble folk." He pulls himself into his seat and sets dextrous four-knuckled fingers to securing his crash netting with practiced movements, eyes never leaving the viewscreen. "Welcome aboard, Private." He smirks. "I don't expect too much in the way of flak, Sergeant. Go ahead and take communications. I believe in trial by fire; just remember not to shoot anything until I say so, Private." Tay nods to Jan. "Set a course for close atmospheric flyover of Jasper Point, and secondary of northern Deepcrest Island." He frowns down at his screen, bringing up the sensor data. "Let's see what we can find."
"I'm rarely one to take things like that seriously, Mac." Notes Lucius, grinning. He pats Petra on the shoulder. "Alright, Private. Enjoy." Then as an aside to the two pilots as he takes his seat at the comm console, "What's with the suits?"
Brandon's made himself comfortable at the aft of the bridge, using the door as a bit of a way to prop himself up. Without anyone watching, he slips his hand inside of his jacket and slips out a small snug nosed revolver. A quick check over, and he slips it away once more. He slips down, and then tries to brace himself against the bulkhead. "What you guys looking for, anyway?"
Petra nods again to Taeren, "Aye aye, Captain." She then busies herself checking over the weapons and shields once more. She'll let Jantine field the question about the suits.
Jantine shrugs "Was going to go for a training run in the Claymores, and was all but suited up sergeant, just didn't take it off is all sergeant" the metalic voice says as he makes the appropriate adjustments to his flight path "How close do you mean by close Captain?"
"Heat signatures," Taeren replies, looking down at his readouts. "Heat signatures in the forest where they shouldn't be. And unusual shapes -- like rectangular vehicles and buildings -- on passive-millimeter imaging." He lifts his head to look out the viewscreen. "Seventeen thousand meters should do the trick, Corporal. High enough that we won't be leaving any sonics in our wake."
Lucius nods. "I was just talking with Sergeant Norton about that today, sir. The jungles are massive.. we'd need broad sattelite coverage to scan for that kind of thing, to see if there were any camps." In any case, his fingers are already flying on the display, bringing up the sensory equipment.
"Oh," Brandon says, as he unbuttons his jacket and leans to onside to check a concealed DS equality. "You're looking for those Door... Window... Bulkhead jokers, or what every they call themselves?" He checks over the telltales, rather casually. "Wouldn't they like... Camouflague them or something? I don't know first thing about /this/ shit, though?"
Petra hrms, and runs the ventral weaponry through thier various firing arcs. Better make sure everything's good in case she needs to shoot at the ground.
"We should be there shortly sir" Jan says "This how high you want me on every flight, and looking for the same things sir?" he says after a pause.
"Camouflage doesn't work against heat scanning from above unless they're using thermally-reflective blankets," Tay replies, frowning. "And they probably are, but they're no Phyrrians. They've got to make mistakes someplace. Even then, massive-millimeter can pick up shapes behind shapes, like hidden villages or parked vehicles underneath the jungle canopy." He nods to Luc. "Broad satellite coverage would be nice. But flyovers will help, sure as the universe is expanding. Jan ... belay my previous. Go subsonic and get down around ten thousand meters ... put less air between them and us. Should still be high enough to get a good view. Let the sensors track their full area. The three of us will look at the scans." He points to Lucius. "You take heat, Sarge." He points to Petra. "Private, take EM scans. Look for power signatures. I'll take passive-millimeter and look for objects below the jungle canopy."
Lucius motions on the screen in a circular pattern, causing it to access the short distance, atmospheric scanners which come up shortly. Then it's just a matter of keying in these scanners to the other two consoles as well as his and going into the sub-menu - heat. He brings this up.
Yep. More weapons to be examined by McDowell. A stun gun this time. He leans in the opposite direction. "There's a material that disperses IR signatures," he informs the Militia members. "Pricey as all fuck, though. There's also a type of netting that... What Tay just said." With the stungun checked over, he reaches into a pocket and withdraws a pair of leather gloves and changes over. "If we get shot down and I live, I'm going to kill someone."
Petra needs a minute or two to figure out how to slave the EM sensors over to her station, then she begins studying the readouts.
Jan's hands fly over the controls "Overheard....now sir" he says, watching the screen ahead.
Taeren frowns. "Sound off," he instructs. "Tell me what you're seeing."
Lucius smiles at his display, casting his attentions away from the console to the commander. "Sir, I got a reading. Fairly significant, bearing.." He looks back down momentarily. "One-five-zero-six-nine. Don't seem like it's natural and it ain't on any map."
Petra shakes her head, "I'm not getting anything that's not supposed to be there, sir."
Jantine continues looking over the controls, piloting the craft where he's been ordered to.
Taeren's frown does not disappear. "You and I must have missed it, Private. That's why three eyes are better than one. Jan," he says, slowly and calmly, "Come about at your own pace. Take us over that site again." There's a pause before he adds, absent-mindedly, "Six. It's six eyes better than ... two." The Timonae remains straight-faced, eyes looking between the sensors to his crew. "Just drop me down somewhere and I'll look," Brandon mutters, as he pulls the older cracked gloves on.
Petra barely holds back a slight snort as she listens Taeren fight with English idioms...but she perks up and makes some adjustments to center something she spots on her sensors. Seconds later, she calls out, "Multiple energy readings, bearing zero-zero-six point four. Looks like a bunch of light vehicles out in the middle of a lot of nothing."
Jantine nods "Yes sir" swinging the craft around on another pass over.
Taeren's head shoots up. "Nice job, Private," he rattles off. "Are they moving or stationary? Jan, take us out over water and then up so nobody sees us leaving atmosphere in the night sky." He looks over at Lucius. "Sarge, start picking your team. You're moving on that site in less than two hours."
Lucius shakes his head. "You're a nutter, Mac, but it won't be the first time I tell you that. You're wearing a suit and you wanna go jungle exploring." Nevertheless, his attentions return to the console as he makes a second scan. "Nothing this time sir, but it was definately there last time, and too large and widespread to have been a glitch or a geothermal air vent." A certain buzzing noise catches his eyes though and he moves to swat the source of it; a small black fly. "Fucking asshole." Mutters the Martian. As Petra gives her reading, Lucius says, "Don't nuke it, sir. They've probably got an excellent tunnel system.. most jungle bases do. Much easier to get around that way." He's a bit shocked when Taeren makes his pronouncement. "Uh.. yes sir. How many men?"
"Fine... Are there any uniforms on board that are spare and being used by rags?" Brandon asks, grumping a little bit at Lucius' reply. "The time that any of you noisey bunch do anything, what ever you're looking for will be long gone..." A pause. "Who's to say they aren't out camping? Terrorists have lives, too." He gives a faint snort and then lets his head rests against the bulkhead. Petra studies her readings, "Doesn't look like there's much movement at the moment, sir."
Jantine nods "Yes sir" he says, before taking the craft fairly far over water, and then shifting course to head back into orbit.
"How many will it take?" Tay asks. "You'll have proper close air support." His jaw sets, premature crow's feet at his eyes showing themselves as he looks up from his sensors and back at McDowell. "We're moving in less than two hours. And I'm sending a ground team to make sure it's exactly that, PANL and not campers." He scoffs at McDowell. "And it's as sure as entropy that you're not getting anywhere near a Militia uniform. Unless you decide to stop working for Ryan and start working for New Luna."
Lucius quirks his mouth to the side, studying Brandon for a moment. "He's right.. it wouldn't be a bad idea to have someone on the ground first, sir. And if he's offering to go, I don't see why we should say no. I'm sure we've got a spare BDU on board that the markings can be removed from, sir." A pause. "I'm not quite sure how many it will take sir. The base could be loaded with thirty, fourty, fifty of them and we'd have no idea. Honestly? A platoon would be ideal. But you need to clear it with Lieutenant Lachance and Captain Vasilyov first, sir. At the same time, we need a proper plan, mode of entry.. and a good fourty percent of our platoon is green. It won't be easy." "Which is why a little intel would be very appreciated." He adds.
"Hey Tay, your boys are noisey, you can hear them coming a mile away," Brandon says, shaking his head. "Join the Militia? Meh, yeah right. Me and people like you... Don't work. Healthier for us to have a mutual working relationship... And it's not like you can't just walk into any disposal store and pick up NLM surplus uniforms."
Jantine continues staring straight ahead at the controls "Back to the station sir?" he askes.
Petra makes a few notes, jotting down the co-ordinates for the location, then she goes back to scanning.
"That's why," Tay reasons with Lucius slowly, "You should start now." He looks between Lucius and Brandon, and then outside, and after a brief moment he sighs. "Sorry, Jan. No, belay my last. Take us back down towards Jasper Point." He brings up a surface map on his screen. "Take us down slowly. Give me time to pick an insertion point. And for McDowell to get his BDUs and pick up some equipment. There's a PAR in the airlock storage locker." He begins plotting a route with a low profile to set McDowell down, ideally in a clearing within a half-day's travel of the site. "Brandon, when and where do you want us to pick you up." Clearly unhappy with the situation, the Timonae starts working nonetheless, deferring to the combined ground knowledge of the soldier and the mercenary.
Lucius offers Taeren a weak smile. "I'm going over things in my head, but before you plan things like this you need to have a bit of intel. All we know right now is that they have a few vehicles here. Hardly a plan of action, and I don't want my men to get killed." He looks at Brandon. "Good luck. We'll have to keep in constant communication."
"Four days," Brandon comments, as he slowly stands up and starts to button up his jacket "I've got five weapons on me, three of those being pistols and two being things for silent kills.. He glances towards Tay, and shakes his head. "The energy rifle... That's a weapon I'm fucking shit at." He slowly stands up and heads aft to get changed. "I'll run light and quiet."
Petra just keeps an eye on the sensors for the LZ, and checks the weapons again in case they need to CLEAR an LZ.
Jantine does as ordered, taking the craft at the altitude specified as well.
Taeren nods. "We'll pick you up where we drop you off, then, in four days," he says. "Jantine, drop to one thousand meters, speed subsonic, and proceed over water at bearing one-three-niner carom zero. I'm transferring waypoints to your console." The Timonae's fingers fly. "Note the mountain range that will be to starboard on your way in. Don't hit it. Trace the ridgeline until you hit the first waypoint, change heading to two-four-four, decelerate, and look for the clearing. You'll be out of sight thanks to the ridgeline and out of sound once you get away from it."
As lights begin to flash on Jan's console, it becomes apparent what Taeren was talking about. The final waypoint listed on the map is clearly labeled "CLEARING."
Petra grumps where nobody can see it that she didn't get to try out the turbocannons, but otherwise she just keeps an eye on the sensors.
Jan races across the controls, dropping speed and altitude rapidly, he glances at a now blinking screen in front of him for a split second before racing across the controls once more, bringing the ship to the waypoint.
>> Outside the Ship: Braking thrusters activating, the IND Riposte descends through the clouds towards the planet's surface.
New Luna Landing Pad <Deepcrest Island, New Luna>
- This wide, bleached white concrete expanse travels parallel to the shoreline of the planet's only ocean. Some very old black scorch marks mar the edges, and a raised concrete shuttle pad seems to have been built to the side of the expanse furthest from the beach. A beautiful golden beach runs to the southeast side while the rest is dense tropical forest, comprised mostly of beach grass, strange broad-leafed bushes, and a tightly-packed variation of a combination palm tree and birch. A well-worn path leads northeast into the dense foliage, and a clean, freshly-cleared path leads to the west.
Taeren remains silent as Jan does his job, although he turns and nods to Petra. "Good eyes, Private," he says again.
Petra sits up a little straighter, "Thank you, Captain."
Leaning back on the controls, Jan pulls off a simple, yet effective landing in the designated clearing, bringing the craft to rest quickly.
>> Outside the Ship: Always the rogue is McDowell. He appears to have even managed to pinch a raincoat off the ship. With a stooped run, the Watcher carefully picks his way towards closest part of the tree line, trust revolver in hand. He pauses every now and then, before continuing. At the edge, he simply slips into the jungle and vanishes from sight.
Taeren inhales, exhales slowly, and nods. "All right, Corporal. Take us up and out along the same course. Make sure you're well over water before you get above five hundred meters - keep off radar and stay subsonic until we're in atmo. Make it so." He leans back in his seat, resting his elbow on an armrest and his chin in his hand, clearly worried as he stares out the viewscreen with opalescent eyes.
Petra hrms and absently starts looking over some maps of the area. The captain mentioned something about close air support, which as far as she knows, means either her or Jantine...possibly both. Best to familiarize herself with the local geography now.
Jantine watches the view screen intently, as soon as McDowell disappears from sight, he fires the thrusters and brings the craft up, making the time on the ground as limited as possible, but not fast as to make too much noise either "Yes sir" he says, following Tay's orders to the letter, he brings them into the atmosphere.