Summary: A recon of a crater on Muskeg turns up an interesting clue to something more.
Date: 15 ACH
Related Logs: None

Landing Area Muskeg - Surface
15 ACH 6735 Souls

This is an open area of ground, clear of trees. Above, the sky is a dull grey color, perminant cloud cover blankets the area, and indeed most of the planet. The air is still, heavy, moist and filled with a pungent stench mostly reminiscent of rotten cabbage. Trees grow in dense collections at the edges of the clearing, while vines and mosses cling to the branches of the trees, dense plant growth blanketing everything. the ground is mostly firm, but there are spots that are spongy underfoot, producing a thick wet sound when weight is applied. Despite the general.. squishiness of some spots, the ground is mostly secure. Small animal life rustles here and there intermittently, but does not make appearances if it can be helped.

Contents: Micah Reed Raptor-G_103

Exits: [CR] Crater [OA] Overgrown Area
[SH] Shuttle Transfer [SP] Swampy Path

Reed is standing by a console on a mobile table, typing. He looks up as a Raptor flies down for a landing, guided in by the landing beacons set up and he then looks back down to the console, continuing to type as people move about with their collection containers.

The raptor's landing thrusters fire in asynchronous bursts, compensating for a little low atmospheric turbulence as the ship lines up for a slightly bumpy touchdown. The roar of the engines dies after a few moments and exhaust continues to vent from beneath as the hatch is swung open and the pilot climbs out.

Reed looks over to watch as the pilot comes out of the Raptor. Watching people get their first taste of muskeg air is always a little joy for him.

"Lords of frakking Kobol," splutters the pilot after that first breath, hand clutching the hatch moulding like he's half-considering diving back in and slamming it shut.

Reed smiles, "Welcome to Muskeg, Ensign." He calls over in greeting at the console. "Remember, you asked for this assignment." He logs out of the console, placing it on normal mapping options and turns to the Raptor.

Micah turns toward the sound of Reed's voice, arm thrown over his face so that his nose is blocked by the inside of his elbow. He's dressed in full flight gear of course, helmet dangling from his other hand. "You /knew/," he growls. "You knew about this, Major." The raptor is still venting exhaust, engines ticking as they cool.

Reed nods, "Yes, I knew, and I warned you about the smell." He says lightly, shrugging. "One of the reasons for the innoculations. Kind of makes you look forward to the smell of decontamination showers, hmm?"

Micah lifts his arm for a moment, and then clamps it back over his nose again as another wave of the stink overcomes him. "Aye, /mind the smell/, you didn't tell me it was like a field of slaughtered animals. Slaughtered, then burned, then left for a few days to rot.." He's disappearing back into the raptor to fetch a few things. His sidearm, for one, which is strapped to a holster at his hip after he unzips his flight suit, peels it down to his waist, and ties the arms off around him.

Reed turns making a gesture to some of the crew here, as they start loading plant and animal sample cases onto the Raptor, securing each in and compiling a list of the contents of the Raptor, logging it. "Okay, we'll get this loaded up and logged for the return." One of the crewmen says. "We're logging and loading as it comes in, so it'll be a bit till you're ready for skids up, sir." Reed is moving around the landing site, still looking at the landscape.

Micah doesn't stick around to direct the crew where to put things; they seem to have this procedure down pat already. Just a nod to the crewman who addresses him directly, and a mutter of 'sure, mate' as he ditches his helmet finally and descends the ramp. "Fancy meetin' some toasters out here, sir?" he asks with a glance toward the M57, tone marginally more conversational now.

Reed looks to his hip, then around, "Toasters? Naah, not expecting it, but you know the old saying about being prepared. Anyway there's still snakes and don't forget about Grooonk." He turns, listening, "you can hear them if you listen closely enough in the distance."

"Snakes?" Micah repeats, hands planting on his hips as he comes to the base of the ramp, flight suit squishing with the motion. "You think you're going to need a motherfrakker like that, to kill a godsdamned snake, Major?" He cocks his head to the side and squints at Reed. "That's got to be one mean snake."

Reed nods "Snakes." He pats his sidearm, "Well, this is my sidearm. It's either this or I try to club a snake to death with a laptop computer. I'll take the gun, thanks."

Hazzard comes in from Shuttle Transfer.
Hazzard has arrived.

The trip to muskeg was an uneventful, if slightly bumpy one toward the end. But, both the pilot and his 'cargo' are down in one piece, and that's what counts, right? Micah's stepped out of the raptor not too long ago, dressed in his flight suit with the top stripped down and the arms tied off around his hips. He's conversing with Reed at the bottom of the ramp, and being put to shame by the fact that the scientist has a bigger gun. "Aye, whatever you say, Major. You call the shots around here."

Stepping out of the Raptor, is Hazzard, dressed in full regalia with his rifle held in his left hand using the sling to keep it steady as he looks around. "With your leave, I'll secure the perimeters sir." he issues the question out to all those present as he takes that final leap down upon the surface of the planet. He moves, even with all his gear, surpsingly agile and without much sounds. Everything on him is strapped extra tight, no loose flaps or rings.

Hazzard is wearing a black battle dress uniform. The protective combat vest provides protection against small arms fire and explosive fragments. It bears numerous pouches for ammunition and other supplies. Reinforced pads protect the knees and elbows for close-quarters battle, and a pair of goggles is strapped to the black metal helmet. He also wears black gloves and combat boots. A subdued rank patch on the front of the combat vest shows a rank of Corporal.

Reed smiles at the pilot from the surface near the Raptor, and shrugs, "In some things here." He looks at the Marines moving on and off the Raptor, "They look relieved to be going to decon." He moves off into the center of the landing area, taking a handheld from a pocket and looking at it. "One path has been looked at already." He looks to Hazzard and nods, "Check in with the remaining security forces, Corporal, I believe you're on roving patrol of the area, and up for exploration recon when one gets called for."

Micah is digging a hand under his flight suit while Reed converses with the marine, and seeking out a cigarette and lighter. He does at least have the presence of mind to pause, and ask, "Okay if I smoke, sir?" Hazzard is nodded to politely.

A quick salute if given and then Hazzard slips off into the underbush. Despite the fact that this is a swamp world, unexplored the Corporal seems well adapted to this form of enviroment. Even to such degree that a gentle smile lingered on his lips before he ventured off.

Reed watches Hazzard, and looks to Micah, "A Marine impervious to the smells of Muskeg. Noteworthy. Yeah, smokings fine as long as it's here in the main area so your ashes and tobacco aren't collected as a sample and I waste time having it analyzed."

"He is a marine," mutters the pilot just before his cigarette is lit, and then dragged from deeply. "Probably has worse things in his underwear drawer. Though he sure looks at home, around here." the black-suited marine is watched for a moment or two, before he turns back to Reed. "So how's your, uh, work going? Finding anything interesting?"

In the outskirts of the cleared zone, wading through the muskeg swamp water the Marine sweeps through the area, quick short sentances are sent between the various Marines out there securing. But only one of the Magnificent Bastards is on site, and Hazzard would be damned if he makes Captain Zeuz disappointed by being anything but..Magnificent, but dirty.

Reed nods, "Likely, yes." He says to Micah, then looks at his handheld, "This is the kind of place people spent half a year pulling apart the ecosystem of just after the first war, then left after their first structure they built sank. Most of it's already cataloged, but there's been some advances in thirty seven years that make it interesting, still. We're using the place for food and water, getting loaded up to be ready to kick ass later, but right now I'm more interested in two clicks assigned west." He gestures in that direction, "There's a crater there, some space debris falling and impacting there a while before we got in system."

Micah seems a hair calmer now that the nicotine's moving through his system. Exhaling smoke away from the Major, he turns to squint in the indicated direction. "So you're saying people've been here before." He slaps at his cheek with his free hand, briefly checking the palm to see if he caught anything. Nope. "Got any ideas about what made the crater?"

Reed nods, "Oh, yeah, people have been here before. but the planet's unsuitable for permanent habitation. Lot of toxins, no stable land masses. Even what we're standing on isn't attached to the planet, really, it's floating detritus." He looks to the west, "No radiological warnings from low fly overs, so it's not grossly radioactive. but it's a large crater. I expect some space rock that got caught in the gravity well of the planet and pulled in. It happened to hit here, where it didn't just go sploosh into the water."

It is a trekk, few would gladly undertake but then again no Marine really likes sitting in a big boat floating in space for to long. Hazzard treads carefully, a single error in choosing his path would lead to a dip in the murky waters. Mostly unnoticed as the little sounds he makes are easily drowned by the surrounding natural sounds and chatter of the scientists and pilots.

"So in other words, we've got to keep looking for a place to settle down," mutters the pilot, taking another drag of his cigarette. "If, of course, that /is/ what we're tryin' to do." He slants a sideways look to the Major, leaving Hazzard to his exploration for the time being.

Reed looks from his handheld to Micah, "Right now we're hiding in the back ends and fringes of Colonial space, getting ready to go knocking on the Cylons door and ask them what the frak they think they're doing, determine the extent of things, and see what our options are from there. We're out of contact with the Fleet, and operating under worst case protocols. We're hitting the enemy and looking out for our survival. The former is the Colonels provence, the latters mine."

Rycard comes in from Shuttle Transfer.
Rycard has arrived.

Some of this seems to come as news to Micah. Not all, perhaps, but certainly some. "So that's the plan, then," he replies, exhaling smoke through his nose and lips as he studies the clove between his fingers. "We don't hear much from the CAG, besides what we'll be doing in the next op."

Something moves in the eastern parts of the cleared landing zone, just at the fringes leaves are moving. A soft rustle as the leaves are caught in the soft wind that exists here on Muskeg. From the western parts, with his boots and lower parts of his legs smudged by swamp water and mud comes Hazzard with his weapon at the ready. His gaze continues to sweep over the open area, even knowing there are other Marines out there, he keeps a watchful eye as he moves over towards Reed and Micah.

Reed nods, talking to Micah in the landing area where Micah is smoking and Reed is holding a handheld, "Plans are flexable at the moment and subject to change without notification. We get told, and we go." He looks to Hazzard as the Marine approaches. "Yes, Corporal?" He asks.

Overhead, a Raptor is descending towards the LZ. The approach is quick enough, but wont touch down for a good minute or so. While a small dot in the sky, its engines are clearly heard roaring.

Micah flicks some ash from his cigarette. "Aye, sir." The heat and the flight suit have a touch of sweat breaking out at his temples and the back of his neck, swiped away with a gloved hand. "Didn't spot any snakes, did you, Corporal?" he asks with a bit of a grin.

Hazzard lowers his rifle, keeping his close to his chest and both hands still upon it. "Sir..all units reports green.." his gentle tone, quite the contradiction to his marine appearance. A glance is cast towards Micah, and he arches an eyebrow. "Did you want one Sir?"

Reighner comes in from Shuttle Transfer.
Reighner has arrived.

Coming to a hover on the apprach, the Raptor sends waves of hot air across the LZ, stirring up dry leaves and twigs before finally settling down in the soft ground. As the engines cool down and audible whine, the access-hatch begins to open to allow the passengers to disembark.

Reed nods to Hazzard, "Excellent, Corporal." He looks up to the Raptor coming in, and lets Hazzard and Micah talk snakes for the moment, "Looks like the next set of rotations are coming in. Should be able to assemble a recon patrol from them." He glances to Hazzard, "You up for it, Corporal?"

"Frak, no," Micah answers the marine's question. "Though I think the Major wouldn't mind the target practice." Grinning some more, he shifts the placement of his hand upon his hip, unconsciously checking the sidearm holstered there as he pulls from his cigarette. A glance is sent toward the descending raptor, and the landing beacons set up a safe distance away from the one already parked here — currently being loaded up with supplies.

The Pilot earns himself a curious look at the mention of pointless killing of the local fauna, but then the Marine nods his head and looks back towards Reed. "Captain Desusa makes sure the Bastards are always ready, sir..Tell me where you want, and I'll secure it or die trying."

Among the Marines who disembark is a queasy-looking Reighner. He carries a blocky case with a biohazard sticker stamped on the front.

Reed nods to Hazzard, "Assemble a team for Recon, then and report for details when you're ready." He looks to Reighner as the man comes down, and starts walking towards him as the smell hits. "Captain. Welcome to Muskeg."

The last to leave the recently arrived Raptor is a young ensign. As soon as he steps out though, he recoils and places his hand over the nose. "Hoooly… By the Gods… Who or what took a shit right here? Gods… My eyes are tearing up. Oooh." He stumbles somewhat as he jumps down from the Raptor, trying his best to cope with the smell.

Hazzard nods his head towards Reed and brings a hand up to activate his comms as he takes a few steps back to communicate without disturbing the others. Most of the Marines from the Raptor heads off into the swamp to rotate the security troops, but three of them makes their way over towards Hazzard.
"L.T." One of the Marines says and offers a salute to the Corporal.
Hazzard speaks in silence to the other three and gestures out over the area.

Micah ditches his cigarette and crushes it out with the toe of his boot. The other pilot's reaction draws a snicker from him, since it isn't at all unlike his own. There really should be a camera set up to catch these things. "Give it a few minutes," he calls back, "you'll get used to it."

Reighner extends his right hand to the major for a handshake. "Reed," he grumbles. "Do you have a vomiting area designated?"

Reed reaches to shake the Doctors hand, then releases it, "You can vomit anywhere in the main landing area, just mind the footpaths. Just take it easy till you get your legs under you." As if there were a choice. Reed lets the Marines assemble without his micromangement. "Come down for the experience or are you looking for something specifically?"

Four Marines remains in the cleared landing zone, not counting the two guarding the Raptor at current time..
Hazzard gives the other three a little nod and they move off in different directions.
PFC Riker moves to the western part of the clearing, PFC Boone the south, PFC Maine the east, while Hazzard makes his way over towards Reed and with his rifle kept tightly across his chest, humbly awaits the Majors orders.

Trying the ground, Ensign Rycard moves away from the Raptor and eyes the surroundings. "What a shit-hole" he finally says. "What is this place? The planet the Gods forgot?"

"Captain," Micah greets when Reighner draws nearer to shake the Major's hand. Rather than remain underfoot however, he trudges off a short way to await the loading of the last of the supplies onto the raptor. The Marines' deployment isn't any of his business, so he doesn't spare much of his attention for it.

Reighner lifts the case for presentation. "Samples." It's heavy, so it lets it dangle from his arm. "Maybe we can find some cultures that we can put to use." It's his first time on solid ground, so he takes the moment to savor it, looking up at the dank sky.

Zaharis comes in from Shuttle Transfer.
Zaharis has arrived.

Reighner is talking with Reed near the recently-landed shuttle. Hazzard is marshalling some marines nearby. Micah and Rycard are also here.

Reed nods, "Alright, Captain, then you're on the team." He straightens and looks to Rycard, "Almost, Ensign. We're here collecting what we can use in the fleet." He looks to Hazzard, "This way, Corporal." He moves to a console on a mobile table, pointing to the map on the screen. "This is a fly over image of the area." his finger points out dots on the map, "these are portable GPS beacons we're using planetside as this planet has no magnetic field and normal compasses are useless here, so switch to GPS nav for this Recon." His finger moves to an area without dots. "This is an area marked by a recent meteor strike 1.66 clicks assigned west of this location. I want it. the Recon team is to move into this area, sweep and clear. Only local wildlife is expected to be in the area, but the wildlife is known to be slightly agressive. Nothing like a toaster, but no chances. If something rushes, you're cleared to respond with force."

Zaharis' mind had tried so hard to block out that funky stench, but the minute he gets off the Raptor it all comes back. He makes a face as though he might as well be tasting the funk as smelling it, letting a few Marines past before he starts for the little group around the map.

Micah is standing perhaps ten or fifteen feet away from Reed and Reighner, observing the loading of a few final supplies into the less recently-arrived raptor. The crew seems to be mostly going over the manifest now, and summons him over to sign off on the weight and tend to some other cursory tasks.

Overhearing, while wrinkling his nose to the smell of the swamp, Rycard throws a thumb over his shoulder. "I you want I can probably fly you over there" he says, trying his best not to throw up. "Im sure the major can commandeer my Raptor for this mission. I wouldn't mind."

"Team?" Reighner asks. "What team?" He slowly trails behind Reed to the table.

Hazzard lets the rifle down, into the sling that is around his shoulder, letting it rest down along his sides as he moves over to the table. Carefully he studies the layout of the land, and then brings out his own gps and puts in the cordinates. "Can't see any major hickups from the map..That distance, this terrain." he murmurs and then looks towards Reed. "Me and my Marines can reach that location and have it secured in..Fourty Mikes, assuming nothing unexpected happends..Should we mark a clear path for you sir?"

Desusa comes in from Shuttle Transfer.
Desusa has arrived.

Zaharis hears trails of what's going on, which isn't really enough to put it all together. A glance at the maps, GPS computers, and the assortment of people going somewhere, and he lofts a brow curiously. "What's on, Carter?"

Reed looks to Rycard, "Negative. These land masses are floating detritus held together by vegetation and lifted from the water by gasses accumulated under the mass. This is the heaviest supporting area for weight. I'm not placing 50 tons of Raptor anywhere else but here." He looks to Zaharis, "We're going to find out exactly what crashed into this planet a bit ago and run sample collection while there." He looks to Hazzard, "That's fine, Corporal. We'll be ready to commence in a few minutes. Brief the men."

A raptor lands and out comes Desusa with a few other marines. "Reinforce permeter, men," he tells the squad and they fan out to their posts. The captain continues down towards the assembled group and nods to his superiors, "Majors." He steps close to Haz and taps the CPL's shoulder with his fist, letting him brief and whatnot.

Micah gives a nod to the crew who've finished loading up the second raptor, and folds the blunt-cornered manifest twice, tucking it into his flight suit. "You want me to stick around and wait for you, Major?" he calls back to Reed. "Or am I locked and loaded, and headed back to PAS here?" Desusa is saluted as he steps off the raptor.

The outercordon of the Landing site is handled by Genesis Marines, whilst four Pandora Marines secure the landing site as innercordon at the time being.
Riker, Boone and Maine holds the sides, while Hazzard is over by a small console to get the latest specs of the mission at hand. "Then you should, consider it may take up to an hour to get there Sir…as a heads up." he says in a quiet tone before he nods his head and turns to head off some distance, but pauses as he notices Desusa and snaps too and offers a salute before he continues off.
Ten meters from the gathered scientists and brass, he kneels and brings a hand up to his head holding it clenched over his helmet.
The three other Marines snaps too and quickly heads over and kneels down beside the Corporal to hear what is to take place.

Rycard shrugs his shoulders, coughs, wrinkles his nose and groans. It looks like his face is turning slightly green. "Man… This swamp… Damn" he says as he begins to head back for his Raptor.

Reed looks to Micah, "Crow, you're cleared to lift. Enjoy the Decon showers." turning to Reighner "I need scientists for sample collection on a little walk we're taking." He then turns to Desusa, explaining the Op again. "Captain you're heading the Recon. I've been coordinating with CPL Hazzard up to now. The Science team will be behind forward Recon, at a distance you choose, sweep, secure and spike the area and we'll get more samples from that area and determine just what it was that hit there. Input." the last is apparently a cue for the Captain to give his tactical opinon of the plan.

"Ah." The sound from Zaharis is minimal but threaded with interest. His name wasn't in the list but apparently he's just put it there himself. A glance up as rain starts to fall, as hopefully they've made sure the stuff doesn't burn holes in suits.

Desusa spares a glance to Micah an nods in acceptance to his salute. He looks down now to the marine scouting detail, "Carry on, Haz." He looks to Reed and says, "Exellent, sir," he looks to the assembled team of geeks and nods, "50 paces behind us at all times, please." He then looks to Haz, as he continues planning.

Reighner purses his lips and keeps silent. He scratches his hair and looks back up at the sk.

Rycard climbs inot his Raptor to find shelter from the downfall. Sitting down by the ops-station, he starts to do some routine-checks, lazily slumping in the chair like some bored teen as he reads the displays.

Micah tips off a salute to the Major, and thumps up the ramp of the filled-to-the-brim raptor. The sidearm at his hip is unholstered and set aside, and he tugs his flight suit up and over his arms, refastening it, and fetching his helmet in preparation for departure. "Have a good stroll, gents," he remarks as the hatch is closed and pressurised.

Hazzard looks up towards Captain Desusa and nods his head before he goes back to explaining the layout to the other three Marines. "We are bastards..lets not disappoint Zeuz." he ends his briefing and rises up. One by one the other three rises and all look towards Desusa and Reed. Unmoving in the drizzle of stinking rain on this gods forsaken planet.

Desusa turns briefly to give Reed a thumbs up, "We roll, sir." He then pats Haz's arm and ushers him to lead the way.

Reed looks to a crewman and gestures to Rycards Raptor. the crews start climbing aboard and loading and securing sample cases down into the back to the vehicle. A crewman moves to Rycard, "We're compiling the manifest and logs of samples now, sir, we should have you loaded and ready for skids up soon."

Reed looks to Reighner and Zaharis, as well as a few other redshirt-er.. valued NPC crewmen who will be making up the science team and nods to Desusa, "Copy." He looks back, "50 paces behind our escorts."

Zaharis makes a gracious gesture towards the Marines. You first, damn right. He tugs on the strap crossing his chest from shoulder to hip, attached to the fresh kit he'd brought off the Raptor, and casts a brief eye around their current surroundings as the Marines get ready.

"Yeah," Reighner says, not sounding too keen. He scratches his nose with a thumb. "Yeah, okay."

The pat is all he needs, and with just a hand signal the four Marines set off. Single file, with Hazzard at the lead. Riker second to check the west side, Boone third with the east and Maine as rear guard of the recon force. For Captain Desusa, who has served with the Marines, it is easy to see that they are moving slower then normally. It may be the swamp or it may be the fact they wish to make sure the rest can keep up.

Engines throttling to life, the other raptor is soon cleared for takeoff. The thrusters kick up dirt and muck as it lifts from the landing site, windscreen streaked with the light rain that's slanting down. It's soon maneuvered about, and headed higher into the atmosphere with a trailing glow from the afterburners.

Rycard looks over his shoulder at the crewman. "Yeah, sure. Load it up; I'll take off as soon as I've calibrated the systems." He then turns back to his screens, pressing a key every now and then.

Desusa follows behind his squad. Keeping a close eye for bears with lasers over thier heads. His hand rests over his trusty siderarm.

Reed snatches a carry kit up onto his shoulder as he lets the Marines go ahead of them, and starts off once they're a suitable distance away. He looks up to the sky as Crow gets the frak out of here and off to get that smell off him.

As the Marines start out, things are the normal amount of noisy, but it comes clear that there is a noise coming from ahead, sort of a low growling undulating and as if it were not one sound, but a number of sounds, like if bears were having a cocktail party and talking in bear voices.

Zaharis remains still until Operation Human Shield has started marching, and follows at the 50 paces. One of his hands remains in position by his sidearm but really, you don't want to know the crap you must be in for him to have to use that thing.

As the trekk continues, neither of the four Marines in the front talk. They move forth in a disciplined fashion, with their guns at the ready. Some parts goes quicker then others where the footing is less certain.
The growling/noisy sound from up ahead, makes Hazzard do a few quick hand signals which travels back until they reach Maine in the rear.
The rear guard of Team Hazzard seeks eye contact with the Captain and signals that they'll deviate from the given path to a slight western approach. That fact that all four of the Marine wear comms seems lost to the untrained as they simply refuse to use them at this point.

Desusa nods to the signl and immidately signals Reed with a 'get down and keep quiet'. The Captain crouches and pulls his sidearm out.

Reed sees the signal and stops, crouching and looking to the others to do the same.

In the front of the group, the sounds seem to resolve into honks of a sort, sounds of 'gronk' 'groonk' 'grooonk' 'grogronk' 'gronk gronkgronk' sounds of lots of noisy creatures ahead, right where the crater is supposed to be.

Reighner's eyes go wide, and he takes a knee, splat into the ground. Deathly still.

Zaharis also drops smoothly into a crouch, his eyes staying ahead towards the source of the honking. One brow raises slightly at that particular sound, and he just stays still.

Desusa narrows his eyes at the groonking ahead. He leans on the side of a nearby swamp-tree looking log and points his gun in that direction. He knows his 'Delta' team is ahead, but, you can never be too careful.

About five meters off in a western direction Maine and Boone comes to a half and crouches down with their guns at the ready.
Hazzard and Riker continues off into the wilderness, soon to be lost to the naked eye. Two quick statics over the comms and then Maine and Boone starts to move once again, but in a straight direction and not following the other two marines. It seems the Bastards intend to flank what ever is up ahead.
Finaly Hazzards voice is heard over the comms issued here on the planet side. /Zeuz, Bandit..Approaching the target..Local wildlife enmass at site..over/

Desusa presses his neck to speak into his comm and says, "Roger that, bandit. Hostiliy level, over." He looks to Reed and singals something like 'your big ass toads are upahead and there's a plethora of them'.

Reed frowns at the sound, then looks to Zaharis, brows going up, then looks to Desusa, pointing up to the darkening sky, and makes a signal of his hand up, fingers opening suddenly, then covering his eyes.

First Marine approaching the Crater site finds the crater overrun with large four foot long amphibians with stumpy clawed feet, a muscular tail and flat head, as if someone bred a mastiff and giant lungfish.

Zaharis watches Desusa and Reed's backs, noting the gesture. He nods and says under his breath to Reighner near him, lips barely moving. "Shield your eyes. Flashbang."

"A flash what?" Reighner rasps back, alarmed. Nonetheless, he seems to have the wherewithall to cover his eyes.

Desusa nods to Reed and presses his neck once more, "Flash and clear." Haz gets to act all manly.

Good thing, because Zaharis might've had to turn Reighner's head for him. "Just keep them covered." He brings his hand up for shielding, letting the BANG part speak for itself.

Four Marines, two from a southern approach and two over on the western flank.
Hazzard looks out through the swamp flora towards the Gronking creatures to get a clue of threat level. Perhaps their mere presence will scare them off, but the site of these creatures makes him doubt it. "Zeuz, Bandit..We've got four ugly frakers, looks like..combat frogs with claws.." there is a pause. "Copy. out." and the comms goes dead.
Boone and Riker brigs their rifles to bear, whilst Hazzard and Maine from one flank each arms a flash bang each. A click over the comms signals the word and two flashbangs flies through the air. All going well all hell will break loose moments later over by the crater some distance off from the scientists.

Reed lowers his eyes, closing them.

BA-BANG! The two flashbangs go off soon as they hit the Crater, sending off Creatures scampering in all directions 'GRONKGRONK GROONK!!' the things, now blinded and panicked run. Most of them run for the closest water, away from the humans, some of them, knocked completely insensate from the bang part, lay there, little legs trying to run on air, and the numbers of them are now shown, at least twenty, campflaged by the darkness and growth, they're either running for water, or knocked on their sides, and one is just running in circles, making that annoying 'GROONK!' noise.

Desusa closes his eyes.

"Controlled fire" The words of Hazzards second command is heard over the comms, as a series of double tapps echoes over the swamps. In the twillight the muzzle flashes can be seen further off. Hazzard was given the order to secure the site and no frog, no matter how fraked it may be is going to put Captain Zeuz to shame by having his boys fail.

Zaharis' closed eyed squeeze shut at the noise and the flash of light that he can see even behind his eyelids. As the cacophony of groonking starts up he squints his eyes open, still keeping a hand in place near his face just as precaution.

Desusa slowly opens eyes once the bang is heard. The capatin levels his gun once more, as the gunfire of the squad ahead begins. he 'clear' part is messy, and he knows it.

"What the frak!" Reighner exclaims, nearly losing his balance at the noise. He reaches out and grabs the closest person — Zaharis, unfortunately for him — and rasps, "What are they shooting at?"

Reed opens his eyes once the bangs have passed, knowing the flashpoint of the ordinance used is just after the bang, he looks up, listening to the sounds of gunfire as he places a hand on his pistol, listening for a louder grooonk sound signaling one of them is headed this way. But that sound never comes.

In the crater, the creatures are easy targets, taking bullets in their thick, well muscled hides, Centurions they're not. And they Gronk as they die, the one running in circles jumping into the air before landing, dead with a thud.

Zaharis shifts his weight quickly as Reighner grabs him, staying neatly crouched. "Bunch of those animals that Carter brought up. Predators, look like oversized lungfish. Marines have got it, just wait for the all-clear."

The marine captain takes his time before coming back to his feet. The silence near the crater is evident, and he just stands there waiting for the all clear.

"Cease fire." Hazzards voice sounds over the comms once again. Unseen to the scientists, Hazzard moves into the creater to make a final check and then using hand singals positions the other three marines around the crater. Once he is satisfied that the rest of his fireteam has taken up a cordon around the site he activates his comm once more. "Zeuz, Bandit..all clear."

Crater Muskeg - Surface
15 ACH 6735 Souls

Breaking from the tree cover is an unusual anomaly for this area. There is a bowl shaped indentation in the ground which is largely filled in with brackish water. Shattered remains of trees lay, quietly decomposing into compost. Indications point to a meteor impact not long ago. Most of the burn marks are already gone and many smaller plants are taking the opportunity to capitalize on the free room to start growing as the swamp closes in on this wound to the planet, already seeking to reclaim it for the endless swamp.

Contents: Reed

Exits: [O] Out

Desusa gave the all clear to Reed and his team and lead them to the crater, "Messy, but efficient." He moves further into the crater to meet up with Haz's squad.

Zaharis stands up as the all-clear comes, motioning to Reighner and the other redshirt scientists that come along. Together they continue to follow the Marines into the crater area, the sounds of clicking coming along as kits are popped and readied.

Reed rises, looking at Desusa, and nods to the Science team. He then continues toward the Crater, looking down at it, frowning, "Outstanding work, Gentlemen." He reaches into his carry kit pulling a flashlight and clocks it on, looking from the dead creatures to the water, "What were they doing here, you think?"

Hazzard still in the crater, while the rest of his team continues a patrolling pattern around the crater, look over towards Desusa and nods his head slowly. "I have the rest of the team patrol the crater at fifteen meters from the lips of the crater.." he says in a quiet voice as he checks his weapon.

"Sir." Hazzard adds.

"Most common thing that attracts life is a foodsource, Major," Zaharis comments thoughtfully, as the scientists start fanning out to collect specimens from the area. His eyes flicker, looking at the host of creatures now floating lifelessly. "What did you say the grooonk things fed on?"

Desusa nods to Haz and taps his flashlight a few times over his palm, "Perfect." His light comes up and he begins looking at the remains of the toads, "I have no clue, Major." He looks up and smiles, "Fornicating?"

Reed looks to Zaharis, "Mostly the eels." He moves down toward the water in the bowl of the crater, "but the Eels congregate around the floating plant. No plants floating in this." He looks to Desusa piercingly for a moment, then looks back to the pool of water, "That's a very real possibility, Captain." He approaches the pool of water in the crater and crouches, "Isolated body of water." He lowers the light to the surface of the water, looking as the beam shines down into the brackish depths, showing clumps of materials stuck together in balls. "Very real possibility."

Hazzard glances towards Zaharis, and the rest of the scientists. His own years spent in the woods, suviving on what the worlds he's been at can give has taught him a thing or two. "I'm with you on this one Captain..But they did not seem like breeding, perhaps just guarding their spawning pool." he murmurs softly, before he looks back towards the Captain.

Desusa walks towards Reed when he studies the water, "Found anything there, sir?" His light comes down on Reed's area of examination.

Zaharis turns his flashlight down to the water, passing the light over the surface in a slow grid, then over the clump of dead animals.

Reed glances up to Hazzard, and nods, "Full marks, Corporal. I think that's exactly what we have here, a spawning pool." He looks to Desusa, "And these are most likely egg sacs of some kind, covered with materials the creatures brought to stick to the sacs to hide them. Common technique.

Zaharis' flashlight beam travels across a broken open clump of material, roughly ball shaped and empty. A glint of something metallic shining from the reflection of the light.

Hazzard studies the scientists a little further, and then eyes the surrounding. He thinks over the matters at hand and then lets his rifle down along his side and brings forth his water bottle instead and takes a sip. As he earns some brownie points from the Major he simply nods his head slowly in his direction before he starts to move over and holds out his water flask in offering towards the scientists, going in rank order.

Desusa nods to Reed's explanation, "Sacks, eh?" He then looks around the area and signs somewhat. His flashlight ain't as lucky as Zaharis's.

Zaharis doesn't look thrilled at finding something metallic; after all they've just been shooting and lobbing grenades and other metal things. He keeps the beam on the object, squinting slightly as he moves toward it but doesn't get too close immediately. "Captain Desusa? This anything of yours?"

Out of the far edge of the pool, where the humans aren't congregating, a small lungfish creature three inches long comes out of the water, making a little squeek, as it stumps its way up the crater, heading in a direction that the adults all ran to the water when they were flashbanged.

Reed looks into the water from the other side, forwning, "Should get one of those egg sacks, or two." He muses, before looking to where Zaharis is.

Desusa looks back to Z and then to the spot his light is pointing to. He frowns somewhat and steps closer to the CMO, "Huh?" The flashlight flickers a bit, but after a few taps over it, it shines over the metalic item Zaharis found, "Don't think so, our flashes completely desintegrate, sir" He frowns deeper at the metal, and bends down to examine it closer. "Nope. Not marine material." If something is creeping, he's not drawn to it right now.

The metal is a piece of plating, tarnished, rusted, half of some sort of Colonial emblem visible under the rust.

As the prospects of seeing what lies beneath the murky water takes upper hand of the Scientists, Hazzard puts his water flask back to its pouch in his webbing and continues to offer close range support. The crawling little creature is not missed, and Hazzard makes his way over in that direction. He saw where the adult tried to run towards and now this little critter, if there are more he puts the odds on the fact they'll come from that direction.

"I'll grab some, sir," One of the redshirt science guys assures Reed, and moves towards the water's edge with a partner to get their hands on two of the egg sacs. Carefully.

Zaharis kneels down next to the metal, frowning. He still doesn't touch it yet, moving the flashlight to another angle. "You see that? Look, right there on the right side, under the rust. That's a Colonial mark." His eyes flicker up at the sound of something squeaking.

Desusa is almost gawking here, almost. "I'll be damned, it is…" His eyes dart back to where Haz is moving too. Hmmm?

Reed nods to the redshirts, "Be careful." He says, as if that EVER helps! He then moves toward the metal thing the others have found to let the redshirts get eaten by Cthulhu without his help, calling over his shoulder, "Place them in Bio cases." He reminds then approaches, adding his flashlight beam to the mix as the little squeeker continues flopping its way to freedom. it stops, then corrects its course along the path the adults took.

The little critter itself earns little to no attention from Hazzard, but the general direction of it was noted as he positions himself nearby with his gun at the ready. Knowing the rest of the team are surveying the exterior of the crater, he focuses upon the in and the scientists here.

Ensign Deathwish offers Reed a salute and starts in on the egg collecting, his partner LtJG Tooyoungtodie popping open a biokit to house the living prize.

Zaharis' dark brows have come together, and as Reed's beam shows up to mark the spot of the plating he moves his own flashlight from the metal piece to the area around, looking for any other metal that might reflect the light. Or…bodies. "Hell. A colonial pod, here?"

Desusa looks back to the the plate that was just discovered and asks, "Shall we pull it out?" He places moves around to try and get an agle here to lift it out. Treasure hunting is more fun than keeping watch over 'science people not importat enough to get names'.

Reed nods, to Desusa, "Indeed. Looks pretty small." He frowns and looks to Zaharis, "I don't think it's a pod. It might be a piece from the structure that was built here just after the first war, the one that sank." He looks into the darkness, squinting in thought.

Little Squeeker makes a bid for freedom and scampers into the water with a bloop. A few minutes later, a single 'Grooonk' can be heard in the distance.

Hazzard looks out in the darkness at the 'groonk' and narrows his eyes but then looks back towards the Scientists. The patrolling Marines makes themselves heard now and then by a soft splash or rustle of the undergrowth of the swamp.

"Hm. Maybe engineering can figure it out." Zaharis tilts his head, nodding to Desusa. "Let's see if we can't dislodge it. Careful, it's rusty as hell." He rests the flashlight down on a rock where the beam points steadily at the object and sinks his knees into the mud, reaching down with gloved hands. Around them, the science teams are still working, not missing a spot in their compulsive collecting.

Desusa goes for it. The captain gets knee-deep aswell and with the aid of Zaharis, carefully retrive the octagonal emblem. It rests on Z's hands and Raul just smiles, "Will you look at that?"

<Trait Roll> Reed rolls Planet_sci and achieves a degree of Superb (6).

Reed looks from the darkness back to Desusa and his prize, nodding as he looks at the emblem. "Colonial survey outpost." He sighs, "Okay, this landmass is crap that floated up from the bottom the Survey team that came here before built a supply structure on one of these landmasses and it sank. That's why we can't colonize this planet. But with enough time, and detritus building up, that structure could be brought back to the surface, it'd take years, decades, but it's entirely possible there's a full Colonial supply building here, close enough that these critters got a piece of it to bring it here to add to their egg sacs." He looks around, "Corporal." He says, getting into his shoulder bag.

Hazzard looks over towards Reed and takes a step closer. "Sir?" he doesnt seem, or atleast show any discomfort to the pouring rain as he stands guard at a spawning pool, in a swamp ridden planet in the middle of the night.

Zaharis hands the emblem off to be preserved with science and stands up, mud clinging to his shins and knees. He picks his flashlight back up, turning the beam round at the collecting teams.

Reed pulls out an object that looks like a Maglite. He twists one part of it and a green light glows on it. Then he makes another twist locking it into place. A third twist and a four inch spike comes out of one end. He hands the object to Hazzard, "GPS beacon. Spike this into a tree, or somewhere that the creatures, when they return aren't likely to be able to get at it. It's unbreakable, but I'd rather they not carry it off. We're pretty much done here, and we're going back." He looks tot he redshirts.. who are alive! with two bio containers. "Okay, let's get ready to move back to the LZ. Good work."

Hazzard takes the beacon and nods his head. "Packed and ready in ten mikes, Sir?" he asks as he starts to backtrack up the crater side to find a suitable place to stash the beacon in his hand.

The other faceless scientists start on back, carrying cases full of samples. Zaharis, naturally, sticks with the homies as the party gathers up. Marines go first, yo.

Reed nods to Hazzard, "Correct, Corporal." He moves back toward Zaharis. "Sorry no one got hurt for your tender mercies." He smirks, "Good find though."

"A 'good find' is when you're trying," Zaharis smirks at Reed, shouldering the strap of his own collection. "That was just dumb luck." A glance at the scientists, making sure nobody's vanished into muddy quicksand. He shifts on his feet, picking up the right and absently rubbing at a cramp in his calf.

It takes the marines exactly eight and a half minute to gather on the crest of the crater, waiting to lead the scientists back home. The beacon is nowhere to be seen, but will hopefully show a good signal back on any tracker display from its location high up in a tree near the crater. "When ever your ready, Sirs." Hazzard states.

Reed nods to Zaharis, "Still." He says, glancing to Zaha cramped leg, then he looks to Hazzard, "Excellent news, Corporal, lead us home." He nods to the man and gets ready to move out, just like how they came.

Not quite like their approach but similliar as they dont expect to flank and exterminate the local wildlife on the way back, the Marine head out in a single line formation. Same procedure as coming, Hazzard, Riker, Boone and Maine.

Zaharis puts his foot back down, his first step stiff before he evens out. "Moving out, let's go," he calls back to the little team, and they follow the Marines at 50 paces.

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