|Lost Boys - The Confederate|
|Summary:||The rescue team from the Genesis move in on the Peerless and have a good old-fashioned standoff. A ruse is hatched to bring her down from the inside.|
|Related Logs:||Lost Boys - Air Wing|
Dunes DW-739 - Ground
119 ACH 23777 Souls
There seems to be nothing but sand and blowing sand for miles and miles. Dunes roll like silent waves across the landscape. Overhead, there only seems to be darkness or the storms that move through which show electrical.
At night, sounds echo across the area, even over the powerful winds. Sounds that don't seem too friendly and the ground shudders at time underfoot.
Sergeant Kentbolten is standing outside the makeshift command tent, looking bored. His rifle is shouldered, his breathing mask around his neck, goggles on his helmet.
Ramiro's standing outside of the tent as well, tapping his foot. Goggles on and ventilator mask in place, he mutters to himself as he gauges the situation. Stepping back inside of the tent, he looks to the blueprints of the Peerless and then starts talking with the Engineers. "Allright…so how many viable entry points are we looking at that can fit at least two people side by side?" He asks, raising his mask.
Bayless is examining the damage to her Raptor, assessing whether the ship will be able to make a return trip in case the effort to raise the Peerless is a wash. She's switched her helmet out for a ventilator mask, her hair tied back and looped through the back of a black baseball cap with the Genesis insignia embroidered at the front.
One of the engineers who's been poring over the Peerless' model schematics grunts a bit. "Accesible airlocks are three port and three starboard," he says, gesturing on the screen he's looking at. "Landing bay's here, that's the biggest point of entry."
"Allright then we're going to have to establish communication." Ramiro replies, drumming his fingertips on the table. Pausing to drink some water, he makes his call. "Sergeant Kentbolten…" He says into his headset. "…need you in the tent."
Kentbolten startles to action. He ducks under the tent flap and comes in. "You called, sir?" he drawls, glancing among the engineers to Ramiro.
Ramiro points to the seven total entry points and looks to Kentbolten. "I'm going to need you to deploy some men to the following locations." He points to the basecamp on the map. "Six are remaining behind to control the LZ. The remaining eighteen are heading towards the peerless. I want a fire team on each side in an observation position. Maintain visibility but have them keep their distance. Full wireless communication on our channel." He points to the front loading dock. "I want a ten-man fan at this location…" He points and draws his finger in a line to form a semicircle at a distance from the hangar bay of the Peerless. "It's a quarantine but it's going to be a relaxed one. Don't want to spook them and have the men approach from the outside towards the Peerless, huah?"
Bayless finishes her walkaround, then opts to check on the goings-on in the tent. "IceQueen, Flash, keep your eyes open. We aren't alone here." The CAG then makes her way towards Marine Country.
Kentbolten takes a few steps in and looks down at the table. His eyes are calculating. "Huah, sir," he responds. He looks up at the ensign. "How do you want to split up that last fireteam? You want the MG here or with us?"
Ramiro says, "Standard defenive perimeter around the LZ. If anyone sees something they call it in. One shot fired here at the wrong time could be mission fatal. I want the MG here, in case covering fire is needed for a fallback." Ramiro replies, very confident about his orders."
Bayless stops short of the tent's entrance, just as Ramiro lays the plan down. She remains silent so as not to interrupt but otherwise makes no secret of her presence.
The sergeant grunts an acknowledgement. He ducks out of the tent, stopping short just outside. "Sir," he hurriedly greets the captain. "Ensign's right inside, if you wanna talk to him." And then he's off, barking orders, separating squads.
"Bayless…how flyable are one of the Raptors? In a pinch we may need to relocate with them, so the ones that are flight capable we'll need to keep those on standby." He says to her, motioning over one of the engineers. "I'm going to need four of your men suited up and coming with the marines. In the event we need to get inside, we're going to need the tools and someone who knows the interior." He looks back to Bayless. "Is there anything you need from my marines during this process? Unless anyone of higher rank wants the horn, I'm going to place myself as negotiator in this situation."
The engineer pops off a salute. "Aye aye, sir. We'll be ready to go." He turns around and starts barking at the others, sending them scuttling for their gear.
Bayless replies to Ramiro. "They're bashed up a bit, but they'll get off the ground easily enough. I'll have my drivers keep 'em warm." After Ramiro instructs the engineers and asks her the second question, she answers, "What you've got laid down works for me. My negotiation skills aren't quite what they could be. But if you need me to talk to my pilots in there, I'm a yell away."
Ramiro nods to Bayless. "All respect due, these people in control are convicts and men. There's no telling what their disposition is." Turning, he refills his canteen and grabs his rifle. "Allright…lets take a Raptors for the front squad, let the side ones fan around. Get their attention. Land at least four hundred yards out though, so it doesn't look like an invasion…" Ramiro adds, heading towards the tent's opening. He grabs his comm. "We're good to go. Let's do this, Marines."
Kentbolten starts assembling the mass. When the pair of officers come out, they'll find the sergeant standing with the two other sergeants, muttering about strategy, with the rest of the Marines loosely standing in their fireteams nearby. The six Marines staying behind are working the perimeter.
Bayless flies the ship to Crash Site.
Bayless brings the ship in for a landing.
The Marines jump off the Raptor and jog at a full pace toward their locations, with a fireteam each peeling away for the port and starboard perimeters. Eventually the fan of Marines is formed near to the Peerless. They fall prone in the dirt, rifles and machineguns at the ready, with maximum crossfire at the large maw of the landing deck doors.
Bayless keeps the Raptor's sublight engines at launch warm as the Marines are offloaded. She's been running systems checks on her bird at regular intervals since they launched, just to make sure the asteroid that crunched into them didn't damage something vital.
It's all quiet outside the Peerless so far. There are lights on in the downed ship, visible above the line of sand that the vessel is partly sunk into.
Ramiro moves forward from the Raptor and grabs the CB-radio style microphone. Thumbing on the loudspeakers, he motions for Bayless to turn on the light to illuminate the landing area. Clearing his voice, he lets his voice boom towards the Peerless. "To the gentlemen in control of the Peerless, we are attempting to initiate a dialogue, to speak fairly. Can you give us some sign? We have attached a throw phone that you can use to communicate with us from a distance."
Kentbolten looks up and down the firing line. The perimeter, being pretty wide, means that there's some space between them. He fidgets with his gas mask and returns his eyes forward.
Bayless reaches over and flips the switch on her console that kicks the Raptor's floodlamps on, which they do, turning the perimeter of the LZ from night to day. She peers through her helmet visor and the cockpit glass, watching for any signs of activity on the ground.
The evening hangs over the moon's surface, plunging most of the sandy dunes into shadowed darkness. About 400 yards from the Peerless' landing bay, a Raptor sits in the sand with its floodlights on and aimed for the ship's landing bay.
Ramiro speaks again into the speakers of the Raptor. "Repeat, Peerless, we have arrived to make peaceful contact. We have attached a throw phone near the door of the landing deck. With it you can communicate with myself from a distance." He adds, turning off the mic. "I don't think they're listening…give them a moment though…"
In the sand, forming a wide semicircle around the Peerless's landing bay doors, are ten armored Marines dressed in tan camouflage. They're prone, concealing their silhouette, but they're not trying to be stealthy. Eight rifles and two machineguns are trained on the door. Ramiro is standing in the middle, within the semicircle.
There being no reply, as yet, through the means advertised via the shout, it might become dubious whether there'll be one at all. But, finally, a faint rumble whispers from the Peerless, and down the landing ramp a standard-issue military medical guerney is pushed by a similarly standard-issue military Captain. From four hundred yards, the figures are probably less than recognizable. The Captain sets the brake on the guerney at the bottom of the ramp, not letting it roll into the sand, and then stares across the sand at the group over there. Then to Jax. "Should we leave him here, for now? We don't want this to be the first thing they see."
Sully swaggers out along with Gosling. Close at her side, hands on a pair of guns tucked into his belt at each hip. Military-issue firearms. He eyes the phone, but he lets the doctor handle that. He does lean over to whisper something to her in a low voice. Maybe whispering sweet nothings in her ear. There aren't exactly a lot of women for the picking on a prison ship. As to her question, he shrugs and says in a more audible tone, "Yeah. Maybe we should. I always do like to make a good first impression."
Sully whispers to Gosling.
"Hold on, we're getting binoculars," comes a female voice through the tactical channel. It's not clear who said that.
Jax looks over with a sullen face, "Lemme get his tags." Is all Jax says to Gosling and Sully. The man himself is scruffy and greasy, and unfortunately donning a pair of convicts clothes instead of his own easily identifyable flight suit.
Bayless unbuckles the straps on her seat and climbs out of it, heading to the back compartment to check the Raptor's cache of first-aid supplies. Frequent glances out the canopy are taken, especially as the voice comes over the tac channel. Once she's satisfied on the supplies, she makes her way back to the cockpit. Her eyes peer towards the figures emerging from the landing ramp, her brows knitting together.
Gosling nods quietly, whether at what Sully whispers to her or to what he says aloud is unclear. She, herself, is not armed, the military-issue lab coat she's got on over her blues is spattered along one side with flecks of red blood not quite even dry yet. She waits for the others to be ready, evidently nervous about stepping off of the ramp.
Nedra is seated in the ECO's seat for this part of the journey and as they land she takes off her harness and gets up. "Let me know if you need me for anything." She tells Bayless. "I can shot as well as anyone." She eyes the figurings coming down then ramp, wearily before waiting on Bayless que.
Sully slips one of the guns out of his belt and offers it to Gosling, wordlessly. It's not a particularly threatening gesture. He's just trying to spread the hardware around. There's no sign of nervousness about him, but he seems accustomed to keeping whatever he's feeling in check. More than anything, he looks very terse. For his part, there's not a speck of blood on him. Not that he isn't dirty, but it's in the general mangy convict sort of way.
Watching the figures in the distance, he clicks on his own personal radio to his men. "Hold your fire…" He says, and then grabs the CB-style mic again, voice over the loudspeakers. "We are holding our fire but do not approach our position. We will send someone to the mid mark." Ramiro says, drumming his nails for a moment. Not one to ask his men to do something that he himself wouldn't do, he steps down from the Raptor. "Sergeant, cover me." He says, and then steps forward to stand at the halfway point, waiting.
A private tosses a pair of binoculars over to Kentbolten. The sergeant replaces it with his rifle and focuses downrange. His voice comes on the tac. "Sir, this is Kentbolten. There's three of 'em standing. Also, somebody's on that rolley bed." He pauses and slowly pivots the binoculars. "From the left, male in prison clothing. Woman wearing a white coat, something blue under. Male, blue jeans and a yellow button-down. Two pistols." Another pause. "Check, he's trying to pass one of them to the woman. Looks like a five point seven." He puts the binoculars down and replaces it with the viewfinder on his rifle. His last words are muttered through. "None of 'em are ours, sir."
Jax slips a pair of hexagonal tags from whoever is laying on that gurney. It takes all of his willpower not to loose his lunch while he goes about the task, either, seeming how most of the person's face is obscured with blood. "Want me to get that horn?" Meaning the throw phone.
Gosling is, herself, otherwise quite clean, as one would expect of a doctor and an officer. But the gun she regards with a mild sort of disgust, not particularly wanting to touch the thing. She holds up her hands in a no-thanks sort of gesture before turning to watch Ramiro come to the 'mid mark.' "Do you suspect it's my turn, now?" She was told not to approach, after all.
Gosling hms and nods to Jax, "That sounds like it'd be helpful, thank you."
Sully shrugs to Gosling in a 'Suit yourself' sort of way. The gun is slipped back at his side. "Suspect so," he grunts simply to Gosling, though he's fine with letting Jax get on the horn first.
Jax holds his hands up high, those dogtags dangling from his fingers. Its a sign to show he doesn't have any weapons. Is he afraid of the people behind him? Or the people infront of him? Slowly he moves towards the squawk box that was left for him. "Do you want me to initiate contact? Or you, doctor?" He asks back over his shoulder.
Bayless looks to Nedra and nods. "There're pieces under the seat, but keep the safeties on unless we need to lend Ramiro and the others a hand." Her frown deepens as the scene unfolds. "C'mon, where are you guys…?"
Nedra nods her head slowly at Bayless and goes to find a weapon, she slips one out from under the seat and makes a show of checking it then slipping the safty on. It's then placed into the little pouch at her side just for that purpose. When Ramiro walks out she licks her lips turning to Bayless again. "Think he can pull this off." she asks, quietly her eyes going back to the scene, and the figures playing their roles.
Sergeant Kentbolten fiddles with the focus on his scope. "Single-fire mode for those who got 'em," he mutters over the wireless. "Let's keep it professional. Easy, now." He shifts the splay of his feet to get the best prone firing position, as his gloved finger slips inside the guard to rest on the trigger.
He mutters some orders to apportion three shooters for each standing person and the last shooter for the figure on the gurney.
Ramiro stands in place. Rifle slung low, pointing towards the ground on its lanyard. He's wearing goggles and breathing through a ventilation mask. There's a second radio-like device on his shoulder, the same yellow color as the throw phone.
"Why don't you go ahead and say hello. I'm sure they'll be glad to hear from you," the Captain replies to Jax, "Then if you can ask them whether we're allowed to step forward, at this point, I'd be greatly obliged. I don't need anynew bulletholes."
Bayless reaches down under her seat for her sidearm and pops the clip loose to check its payload. "He didn't get where he is by sucking, Ice…" She looks to the Viperjock with an assuring smile. "Hope for the best, prep for the worst." Bayless slides her clip back in with an audible click before it's slid into her thigh holster, but her thoughts remain on her pilots inside.
"Captain Bayless, you monitoring this channel?" Kentbolten's voice slides on the tac channel.
Nedra nods her head again. "Lets hope so, cause I know some pilots that couldn't suck ice at all." She takes a calming breath her cool, calm expression flickering across her face.
Jax reaches the throw phone, fumbling with it for a brief second before his voice comes over the line. "My name is Specialist Jackson Miller of the Genesis. These folks behind me would like to have a word with you. The man on the gurney is Ensign Antonio Sloan. I suggest you take them seriously." Hanging his head slightly, he holds out the yellow handset for Gosling to take.
Sully hangs back, crossing his big arms across his chest. Stoic as he can be, given the situation.
Bayless smiles a bit at Nedra's comment, but hears Kentbolten and keys the comm switch on her helmet. "Affirmative, Sarge. Since we landed…" Then Jax's voice comes over the wireless. Her finger coming off the transmit switch, she mutters, "Frak, that's Jax and Cornbread…" Nedra can likely see Bayless' face go stone-cold at this point. One of her pilots is acting middleman, the other one's on a gurney. She is NOT happy.
Gosling looks to the handset and then nods to Jax gratefully, lifting it. "This is Captain Etakkana Gosling of the Peerless. May I approach you at the mid-mark?"
A nod is given in Jax's far off direction as his voice comes over the throw phone. Not entirely pleased at the possible KIA on Sloane, he introduces himself first when he sees the handset nearing Gosling. "This is Ensign Dane Ramiro of the Colonial Marines, I am the diplomatic liason for this meeting. Please do, but please do so with your hands visible and unarmed. We are not hostile, but I'm out here at the mid-point with a flag of truce." He says, disengaging the throw phone. He clicks his comm. "One approaching. Live status on Specialist Jackson Miller. Possible KIA on Ensign Antonio Sloan."
Nedra hand goes to the womans shoulder and she squeezes it hard. "Easy there." She says, though none of the names are familar to her. "I take it they are ours?" She asks, quietly incase some more information comes…And look there it is.
As if sensing the comment, the sergeant's voice pops back on the tac. "Aye, sir. Captain, could you see if anybody back there recognizes this guy in prison clothes? He just called himself Jackson Miller, specialist on the Genesis. And any of the other ones too, please."
Gosling nods her head slowly, "I'm not armed," she assures over the throw phone before handing it back to Jax. A moment to try to stop her heart from racing and then she steps off of the ramp, flinching as if expecting to be shot down the moment her foot touches the sand. Assuming she's -not-, she continues across the sand to the mid-mark, lifting her chin, "Ensign," she greets the other, taking a deep breath, "You don't know how glad I am to see you. We're in quite a nice mess, here," she adds, her accent a lofty, cool Tauronese.
An engineer comes on tac a few moments later. "Confirmed on name Jackson Miller, Sarge. Specialist here knows the name, says he's a deckie in flight training. We can't see him too well over here though. Ask the CAG for visual confirm."
Jax ducks his head, stringing the crimson stained pieces of metal that once belonged to Sloane around his neck. He'll carry the burden for the time being, until they can get Cornbread home. For now, he just stands there, looking somewhat like a whipped scruffy puppy. He accepts the throw phone as its given back to him.
Bayless nods and keys her wireless switch, letting her words act as answer to both Nedra and Kentbolten. "Miller's a nugget in Ares Squadron, just transferred from the Deck. Sloane… Sloane's one of our Viperjocks." She refuses to speak of Cornbread in past tense until she sees it up close for herself. "Zero ident on the others." The CAG looks to Nedra, in case the others on the ramp look familiar to her.
The sergeant keeps his rifle trained on Sully. "Is that a positive visual confirmation on both of them, sir?"
Nedra shakes her head slowly at the CAG her emtionalless face never changing. "I've only been here a few weeks." She reminds the woman. "Not got chance to know everyone, and if they say he was a Deckie, there's millions of thoes knuckledraggers running around." She spreads her heads. "Sorry I aint much help, Flash might have known better."
Sully continues to just skulk in the background, tattooed arms folded along his big chest. There's a brooding quality about him. Then, abruptly, his head turns at the sound of something inside the ship. "Frak…" he mutters. He eyes Jax and the throwphone. "I'm heading back in. Tell your folks I don't mean no harm by it."
Bayless nods to Nedra, the masked pain on her face only vaguely noticeable. "Don't sweat it." She keys her helmet switch again. "Sarge, Scorch… positive ID on both Miller and Sloane. It's them." She exhales and shakes her head as she stops transmitting. "Gods, poor Chione…"
Broadcasting to his team through the microphone on his shoulder, Ramiro nods and offers Gosling a polite smile. "Well don't let the MarDet confuse you, we're quite happy to see more human souls out here as well, Captain." He pauses. "So what's our situation here. We're here to find a peaceful resolution and get everyone to safety with the rest of the fleet. How can we make this a reality?"
Jax winces visibly at something from within the ship, his own gaze following Sully's. "Sure boss." He mutters, then opens the line on the throw phone again. "Jax here. This fellow's going back in to check and make sure the soup's not boiling over. Pay him no mind." The unit falls away from his mouth again, not saying more. Must be eyes and ears everywhere.
Sully skulks back into the Peerless, jaw tight. One glance behind him at Gosling, but he doesn't stop.
"Shit," Kentbolten mutters underneath his breath. He repeats over the tac, "Sir, positive ID. The one working the phone in the back and the one on the bed." As Sully goes back into the ship, he glances over his shoulder at the Raptor and the two pilots through the window.
Gosling takes a deep, cleansing breath through her nose, so as not to inhale sand. "I'm not exactly sure what happened. I was in Sickbay when we went to Condition One, and the next thing I knew we were down. By the time it got light outside we had visitors… A good percentage of what crew we had left was in sickbay, and our remaining fighting forces were overcome and executed. Prisoners, Ensign, evidently left on this bit of rock we've landed on. There are around nine hundred of them on the ship right now. Around two hundred of our crew still left alive, mostly engineering crew and… hem… attractive young women. I was already almost the only doctor left on board," she explains her own survival. "As things stand now, the man who controls the criminal element on board is a man who wishes to be called Mr. Grey. The crew has been transformed into a sort of makeshift currency, of sorts," she adds, in dismay. "As to the members of your crew, they're being held in Sickbay by Mr. Gray. He's shot one of your pilots — the man on the guerney — he's quite deceased; I'm very sorry. He's given six hours before he shoots another one. He wants parts to complete the repairs of the Peerless."
Nedra lets a hiss go between her teeth. "Frak!" She says her voice not calm anymore though its far from frantic, her hand drops to her weapon as if she could storm in there and do anything. "And we only brought one Raptor of pilots." She mutters to Bayless.
When Sully has disappeared inside and Gosling is otherwise occupied, Jax starts making little subtle hand signals. A quick swipe of his hand across his throat. Three digits held up, then he points up. Then three fingers again. Then? Two fingers held together with his thumb extended and his ring and pinkie finger curling in, in rapid succession.
Ramiro pauses, listening to the assessed situation from Gosling with a nod. Folding his arms a little bit, he watches the woman and calculates silently. No doubt, everyone's heard what she's said. Gazing at her, he gives a curt nod and then starts with the negotiating. "Are you our primary contact? I'd like to get this Mr. Grey on the throwphone. We have wiring that'll allow the phone inside of the Peerless and outside of firing range." He looks to the gurney in the distance. "I'll also be asking for proof of life on our downed pilots as well. Can you arrange any of these things? Let Mr. Grey know that I'd love to have this conversation with him, but we'd like to have confirmation of his existence as a part of this parlay."
Bayless stares daggers out the glass. "Promise you this, Ice… Sloane's the last of my men that frakker's putting a round in. If I have to tear him apart with my bare godsdamn hands. He's the last."
Nedra nods her head slowly. "So say we all." She mutters softly. "Though I think if they keep talking like this, it's not going to end soon."
Gosling draws her lips together faintly. "I can try. The last time I asked Mr. Gray for a favor he shot your pilot's brains out in reply. Then he told me to come out here and tell you what he wanted. I'm just trying to keep him from killing anyone else, at this point, quite honestly. We'll take the throwphone in with us when we return. I think he'd like to talk to you, as well. I'll tell you now, as Mr. Grey goes, so go the Deck Crew — the — convicts who've taken up habitation on our deck. I don't know how well he'll listen to reason. But I'm hoping he'll understand that even if he does retain control of the Peerless, he'll need defense from the Cylon threat if we get off of this rock."
"Sir, the one with the phone is making some sort of hand signal." Kentbolten pushes his eye deeper into his rifle scope, as if that would make it zoom some more. He opts to replace it with binoculars. "Uhh, slice throat, three fingers, pointer up, three fingers, looks like a gun firing." He pauses to blink a few times before looking back through it. "Looks like he's saying three alive, three dead, and they have guns. Captain, how many went in with the last flight?"
Maybe someone inside saw Jax's little tempt of fate there, or maybe his role in the opening 'negotiations' is over. Either way, a broading man with a tattoo crawling up his neck comes looping down the ramp and seems to be ushering Jackson back into the ship.
Bayless keys her wireless to respone to the Sarge. "Five. In addition to Sloane and Miller, Lts. St. Germain, Rozalkis, and Rhodes. If Miller's identifying a sixth, I don't know who it is."
Dane's head nods slightly as Kentbolten talks, passing it off as a reflective bit of listening to Gosling. Watching her closely, he scratches the side of his face and reflects. He unleashes the most reasonable and textbook of negotiation tactics. "Extend this to him. We have a communications line to the Genesis, and we'll need some time to coordinate to CIC to let them know of the demands. We're here to play ball and listen and there's no need for loss of human life on either side. However, so far our sign of good faith comes in the form of one live and one dead pilot. I say we get this communication line open ASAP so we can work this out, but in the meantime I'd like to ask for a show of good faith from Mr. Grey in the form of one of our people delivered back to us alive."
"Aye, sir," Kentbolten answers Bayless. "Anybody got any better ideas about what he's tryin' to say, speak up." He then issues some orders to retrain four on Gosling and the remainder on the landing deck door and the gurney there.
"I'll ask him," Gosling replies. "I… don't know how he'll reply, but I'll ask him. Though you may want to make up your mind whether you want evidence of the rest of their being alive or one of them out… more or less intact. He's in a bad mood, and too many requests at once will wear on his nerves. I'd suggest asking for one of them to be released, if you're sure you want to be making requests. One of them has already lost a finger, so talk of sending out evidence… may be a bad idea."
Dane looks to Gosling. "It's a request, not a demand. Now that we've received his initial demands we'll be able to take those to the people that I'm coordinating this with. That'll take a little bit of time, but his requests are definitely going to be heard. He should be happy to hear that." Dane replies. "I'm requesting a sign of good faith in the form of one of our people returned alive to us while we work on this. That'll show the Genesis that Mr. Grey's generous, and should go well in his favor."
"Alright," Tak agrees. "I'll let him know that." She looks back toward the ramp; finding it empty, her brow furrows. "I should get back. But I -am- curious. How many survivors do you have?" she wonders, looking back toward Ramiro, looking actually hopeful. "I heard there was a fleet…"
Kentbolten reaches under his helmet and scratches at his scalp as no response comes back. "Alright, great," he mutters to himself.
Bayless sighs and shakes her head, not even taking her gaze away from the negotiation site. Her index finger taps against the console rhythmically, and she doesn't care one iota if it annoys her co-pilot. "What were you saying, Jax… who's the sixth..?"
Dane looks to Tak, his eyes have been on her the whole time, giving the assembled crew the ability to watch. Sadly, he didn't see the hand signals. He can't comment on them right now either. "There is a fleet. It's a pretty good place and we've come a long way." He says simply, not counting out the number of survivors to her. Looking up at the sound of a gunshot from inside of the ship, his eyes go cold. "Captain…" He looks back to her. "…let's get to work."
Gosling's own neck twists to look back to the ship at the sound of the gunshot. "So say we all, Ensign," she mutters, turning the rest of her body and heading back for the ship at the swift pace of someone at least vaguely used to wading through sand.
Kentbolten's body twitches on the shot. "Nobody fire!" he shouts over the wireless. "Nobody fire! That was inside the ship!"
Bayless's grip on her console tightens. She silently prays to the Gods that wasn't the end of another of her pilots, then prays for the soul of the frakker she's made it her mission to send straight to Hell for Sloane's murder.
"So say we all…" Ramiro replies before he turns and heads back towards Kentbolten. Motioning Bayless over to their position, he starts with the Sergeant. "Constant perimeter and observation. If anyone so much as throws a particle of sand out, I wanna know when and where Sarg'nt." Ramiro orders and then steps over to Bayless. "With luck we'll get this Grey on the horn. In the meantime we're going to have to find a way to get intel about the inside. If it's rigged, that sort of thing." He says as he sits down in the Raptor. Pulling off his goggles, he nods a few times. "Fire up the wireless for me, destination CIC."
Bayless nods once then nods to Nedra in a silent order to do as Ramiro asked. While Nedra's working the wireless magic, she says to Ramiro, "Here's hoping." Though she does her best to hide it, the effects of the knowledge that her pilots have been maimed and killed is visible on her face.
"Sir," Kentbolten says, acknowledging Ramiro. "Marines, let's expand this arc by another forty or so degrees. Spread it out."
[Into the Wireless] Ramiro says, "(line is a wash of random static)Ensign Ramiro reporting. KIA on Ensign Antonio Sloan, confirmation of living status of Specialist Jackson Miller. Peerless man in charge is Mr. Grey, demanding parts for repair to the Peerless to make it spaceworthy and join the fleet. He says he's gonna kill one person every six hours."
Bayless remains silent as Ramiro reports in. She's got plenty on her mind as it is.
[Into the Wireless] ..eck with the enginee… …rying to get Grey on the thro…risking my men when he's the one in need.
Ramiro says, "I'll check with the engineers. We're trying to get Grey on the throw phone, but I'm not risking my men's lives when he's the one that's in need."
Kentbolten rubs the back of his neck, dusting off some sand. "Nine hundred convicts led by a psycho with a color for a name." He looks sidelong and calls at the adjacent sergeant. "Thirty cubits say we're gonna have to bodybag Grey."
Bayless would echo Kentbolten's sentiment if she was there to hear it. The CAG's face is a dispassionate mask, thinking only of getting the rest of her pilots back home. Or avenging them, whichever comes first.
[Into the Wireless] ..repea…will check what my eng…eers have. They want protec…epairs and don't know our num…
Ramiro says, "Repeat. I will check what my engineers have. They want protection and repairs, and they don't know our numbers, over."
There's the faint sound of another gunshot from inside, and what sounds like a woman's voice shouting something unintelligeable. Make that shouting more like shrieking, piercingly.
[Into the Wireless] ..earing gunsho…om inside. Over.
The sergeant curses and presses his rifle against his shoulder. "Shot fired, say again, another shot has been fired," he reports over the tac. "Woman screaming. There's a woman screaming." His eyebrows flatten.
Bayless turns sharply over her shoulder to Ramiro at the report from the Sarge.
Ramiro stands, hearing the gunshots. Grabbing his rifle, he looks to Bayless and clamps a hand on her shoulder. "Keep this bird ready to fly." He says urgently and then stomps out of the Raptor. Racking his rifle, he looks to the men and turns towards the Peerless. "Get the marines ready. Stealth approach. Mirror around the corners, engineers are to remain behind with the Raptor. Starboard and Aft side fireteams to do the same and report when stacked in position…" He says, watching the door. "They're not watching out here right now. Move them up."
[Into the Wireless] Ramiro says, "Stacking teams fo…ser look."
Ramiro says, "Stacking teams for a closer look."
Kentbolten draws himself up, as does the rest of the Marines in this semicircle. The circle starts closing on the rear hatch, collapsing as they move so that they eventually form a column. It's a long trek, but they're moving at a fast clip. "Sir, you want us to make entry?" he mutters unsuredly to Ramiro as he moves, rifle trained as best as possible on the hatch door.
Gosling flees the ship only a short while later, holding the phone limply at her side and going to settle a moment at the side of the ramp, looking somewhere between sick and terrified as she lowers her head down between her knees.
The two fireteams that were on the port and starboard sides of the ship quickly move in action, low-walking toward the fore-most airlocks on their respective sides.
The semicircle of Marines that were four hundred yards out has collapsed into a fast-moving column with Ramiro, approaching the ramp. (scene)
Ramiro's alot closer to Gosling than he was the first time as she lowers herself to the ramp. His assault rifle now actively in his hands. It's time to make judgement calls. The rifle swings in her direction as he motions with one hand to cover the entrance. Moving towards her, he speaks quietly. "Sitrep…" He simply says to her.
Bayless nods once. "Ice, stand by on countermeasures." She flips a couple switches, causing the sublight engines to thrum with the telltale sound of pre-launch thrust.
Gosling pants quietly, looking up, "It's madness up in Sickbay. Grey is down. The other two are fighting. I couldn't tell the status of the other pilots, I… there was another gunshot and I ran," she tells him. "Wait… wait!" she hollers in panic as she sees the whole throng of marines moving in. "If they find out that Grey's been taken out… there won't be a pretty scene in here. Please… go back… I…" she pauses a moment, "I think I have an idea as to how we can deal with this problem," she finally announces.
Kentbolten and the nine other Marines don't pay Gosling any heed. They move fluidly up the ramp until they're by the hatch. Two close stacks of five form, shoulders almost touching the Peerless's cold hull, rifles pointed down between the legs of the Marine ahead, rifles pointed square at the hatch for the Marines in front. "Ready," the sergeant mutters through the wireless.
Ramiro doesn't move his rifle on Gosling, it's a safety thing. At least it's pointed over her shoulder slightly. "I'm not interested in sitting this one out while the inside of this place becomes a massacre so talk FAST, Captain. Very fast." He says, not having yet given the go-code for the marines. He motions for them to hold. "Because every hour we waste down here is an hour that a Basestar might show up and force us ALL to get left behind."
The side fireteams stack beside the port and starboard airlocks. A pair of 'ready's are transmitted.
Bayless finishes securing her straps as the situation has gone from dire to frak frak frakkity frak. Just in case, she pulls her sidearm, ratchets a round into the chamber, and reholsters it.
The gun trained on her starts to really freak Tak out, her breath coming in panicked sorts of gasps as she crawls backward haphazardly up the ramp, "I wasn't entirely forthcoming to you when I implied that this group of convicts allowed me to stay on board Peerless because of my medical expertise. I was a civilian chemist before the Peerless picked me up and made me a Lieutenant. I've been supplying them with home-mixed LSD and some other choice compounds I've been able to mix in return for some degree of freedom to go about the ship without getting stabbed. If you'll retreat… I'll simply begin to poison the drugs I distibute to the deck crew. They've been taking my 'prescriptions' with no complaints so far. Please stop pointing that at me, I can't breathe," she fairly well begs.
The Marines are ready to make entry, weapons steady. Not a comment comes out from any of them.
The engineers are similarly standing by. Behind the Marines. They ain't gettin shot.
"Keep your hands up." Ramiro says, the business end of his rifle lowering. Looking to his men, he has to make a quick decision. Not wanting to storm a ship of hundreds with tens, he talks business with Gosling for the moment. "What's the turn around time on this? How widespread are the drugs and can you get them to key people, Tak?" He asks a series of rapid fire questions. "Traps, is anything rigged for explosion, CAN YOU disable the command structure?" Dane asks gravely.
"The command structure looked well and truly disabled to me," Tak replies. "I suspect that with Kay… Mr. Grey… out of commission, this lot will take to rioting with a new and profound vigor, without a commander to tell them when to stop. They might even come out and try to attack you. I wouldn't want something that works too quickly; I'd want it to have time for everyone to get a good taste before things start going wrong."
Dane takes a moment to mull it over. He raises a hand and motions for the teams to retreat back to their positions. Leaning forward to Gosling, he watches her closely. "Whatever you're going to do, do it fast and make sure it makes them sleepy or sick, not more crazy. The only way any of us are getting off of this rock is in that ship, and if they destroy it rioting we're all frakked." He pauses, nodding for a moment. "Keep my men safe, Captain, best you can. One's already dead and he's probably not the last. We'll be out here maintaining appearances. Get to it." He nods, extending a hand to help her off of the floor. "We're on a clock, Doctor. But we'll let you play this one your way."
Kentbolten, from the back of the stack, glances over his shoulder. He pats the guy in front of him on the back. "Withdraw to original, do it fast." The soldiers disperse and jog back for their staging positions, not making any pretense of an orderly retreat.
Bayless blinks as the Marines begin to fan back out. "Tha frak…?"
Gosling pauses briefly at the notion that it ought to make the convicts sleepy or sick. "With all due respect, 'dead' will be a lot easier to manage. 'Sleepy' will take some doing… simply shutting down the body's systems is a lot easier than trying to modify the way it functions without breaking it somehow." She takes the hand. "That… -was- your plan, with the rushing in with the guns, right? Same result, less blood. I'd need some assurance from you that I wouldn't face legal repercussions, of course."
It takes Dane a moment to calculate as the marines start to fall back. Having helped Tak up, he watches her face for a long moment. He thinks back to the memo he received from Gaelan. "Do it. I'll take responsiblity. Try to preserve life and manage the fatal doses to the command structure, not to the innocents." He warns. He thens starts to back away. Stepping backwards for the first fifty feet, he stares at Gosling and the hatch, before he turns and jogs off in the direction of the camp.
Gosling's own features are… disturbingly emotionless as she discusses killing off nine hundred human beings at one fell swoop. Maybe she's just seen too many of her crew raped and murdered. "Alright, Ensign," she agrees, features remaining stoic until he goes. Then… and only then… after she turns back toward the vessel…. a faint uptic of a smile at one side of her mouth. She might just enjoy this.
Kentbolten drops himself prone near where he was just a couple of minutes before. He points his rifle in the general direction of the hatch. "Get comfortable, men, we're gonna to be here for a while." He starts arranging the watch schedule.