Something's in the Swamp
Something's in the Swamp
Summary: A Cylon Raider wing is found buried beneath the Muskeg landing zone.
Date: 27 ACH
Related Logs: None

As the Raptor breaks through the upper atmosphere, the swampy terrain of Muskeg becomes visible, getting closer. Two Genesis pilots are in front, with the minesweeping team in the back.

Sora causally goes over her gear check, something thats almost second nature to her when she boards a Raptor. She peers out at the swap, "Well, at least theres air to breath…" As she slams a clip back into her gun. "Who knows what we'll find.."

Rhea is in the back, looking rather uncomfortable. Though that's not unusual for the ChEng when she's on a Raptor. She's not a flyer, usually. "Everybody prepped?" she asks, giving Sora an approving little nod for preemptively checking her gear.

"Raptor two-four-six, we're in the atmosphere," the co-pilot transmits through the com. He reaches up and flips a few switches. The dusty outline of a Raptor-G, flying ahead, coasts into view through the wide front windows, leading the way down.

In the back, Effie Logo sits with her hands white knuckled on the seat. She does not like to fly, never liked to fly, particularly in atmo, particularly in raptors. Her pack of gear is stowed securly between her feet. "Yuh huh. Uh, sir."

Eli is here, trying to figure out and remember all her what and wherefors and double checking her gear and equipment and closing her eyes, concentrating.

Vibrations start going through the Raptor. Suddenly, there's a downward lurch. Everybody will feel their stomachs trying to leave their abdomen.

Sora grins, "ready for what may come…I just hope you know what your doing, these are new boots, and I'd hate to have to scrap blood off them."

The pilot mutters a curse word and shouts over his shoulder, "Hey, everybody strapped in back there?" The Raptor starts tilting to the left as the vibrations continue.

A very quiet little sound squeaks from between Effie's lips as the raptor lurches. Her eyes squeeze shut for a moment, and she doesn't even reach up to fix her dark framed glasses, which have slid a little down her nose. She only lets go of the seat to quadruple check her seat restraints.

Rhea exchanges a smirk with Sora. "I have a very strong sense of self-preservation, Staff Sergeant. I assure you." She holds on tight. Frowning irritably at the Raptor. This flight cannot end too soon for her tastes.

Sora throws her hands in the air, like on a rollar coaster.."Frak Yeah! Now this is a ride."

Eli's eyebrow just quirks.

And then, just as suddenly, the vibrations stop, and the Raptor enters the lower atmosphere. The co-pilot transmits, "Raptor two-four-six, we're in the lower, LZ in view." The landing zone gets closer and closer, and the pilot shouts back, "Major, you want us to land this thing or can you jump the last two feet?" It's unclear whether he's joking or not.

It's like torture for the Crewman, all this jostling about. Effie's eyes remain shut. Almost over, almost over. Oh gods.

Rhea is unamused. And she answers in full Major deadpan. "Land. That's an order."

Sora awws a bit as the turbulance stops. Ah well, "Well, least we get a similar ride on the way back up."

"Fine, blow us all frakkin' to hell," the pilot mumbles underneath his breath. The Raptor kisses the ground gracefully in the dead center of the LZ, squishing a tad into the swamp. "Two-four-six, touchdown." The wide main doors swing open.

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.

It's daytime, calm, and muggy. The grey clouds hover overhead. The only sound heard is the distant Raptor-G, ready to be called in. Other than that, deathly quiet.

Eli unstraps as well, idly cracking her neck and checking the straps of her gear once more before checking her side arm reflexively before clearing her throat and continuing to watch and wait for uh orders.

Effie grabs her gear, releases the restraints on her seat once she's sure the raptor has touched down (and only then, thank you!). She slips out to stand on the wing of the raptor, and breathe the fresh air. And savor the distinct lack of hurtling through atmo waaaaay above ground.

Rhea unstraps herself and disembarks the moment the Raptor is on the ground. She hefts her pack, loaded down with sapper gear. "Everyone out and huddle up out front," she says. "We'll go over the particulars. Triple-check your gear and keep your map handy. Wandering before our clearing job's done is unwise."

Sora raises an eyebrow, "Shouldn't you check the ground outside the raptor, before we step out?

"Somebody would have exploded by now," Effie mutters, checking her gear after she hops to the ground.

The Raptor's engines die down quickly. The pilot and copilot exchange money, as one of them bet that they would've all died. They quietly banter amongst themselves, apparently intending to stay in the cockpit.

Zaharis was with the team from the start, along with some poor schmuck medic. Both are well-equipped with supplies to handle whatever burns, shrapnel injuries, snakebites, or whatever else this disarming team can find to do to themselves.

"The LZ's been well-trod, Staff Sergeant," Rhea replies. "If there were something down there, it would've been blown by now." A comforting thought. "Let's get on." She waits for the troops to assemble. Outside the Raptor. Not that she looks particularly pleased to be on the ground. She's managed to avoid Muskeg up until now. Her nose wrinkles. They weren't kidding about the smell.

A solitary bird flies up and away from a tree at the edge of the clearing.

Sora follows after the others, letting her eyes drift back and forth as she scans the area.

Effie finishes up with her gear, and zips her pack shut again. "It does have kinda an odor."

Eli opens her mouth to say something and then closes it again.

Outside the Raptor, indeed. Zaharis shoos his PO outside before climbing out, himself. Doesn't matter how many times he's been on this damn planet, the stench always gets him. "Enough to turn your hair curly," he mutters.

Effie says, before she can stop herself, "That'd be real unfortunate since I spent almost an hour straightenin' it."

"Stagnant swamp isn't a perfume I'd choose, Crewman," Rhea agrees with Effie wryly. She straightens up, to address the little assembly of troops. "All right. I don't anticipate seeing any mines near the landing zone. Our people have been over this ground too many times. That's an assessment military intelligence agrees with, by the way. But outside this area, it's unknown exactly how many mines were left down here. This place hasn't been trod in quite some time. Use caution. This isn't a race. Do the job thoroughly and carefully and hopefully Major Zaharis and his fellow will be bored." A nod is offered to the CMO. "Chance of enemy contact is almost none but, if you've got your sidearm, keep it handy." The ChEng is carrying hers, for better or worse. "This place is home to some…aggressive wildlife."

"Aggressive what?" There's only mild alarm in the voice of the Crewman. "I didn't bring a weapon." She doesn't panic, she just take a tighter hold on her gear. Effie will just bludgeon transgressors to death with her backpack.

Zaharis is in field gear, as is the young PO. Sidearms handy, even if they're so rarely used it's a wonder that aggressive wildlife hasn't nested in the barrels by now. "Yeah, I remember some of it," Zaharis says back to Rhea. He nods for the PO to be drawn and ready, and they take up place near the back of the group.

Sora says, "Wildlife?…now this trip may be more interesting then I thought." She grins, keeping her weapon ready in her arms. "I wonder just how aggressive these critters can be…""

"I believe they're amphibious," Rhea tells Effie. "I have it on generally reliable authority they aren't man-eaters. This isn't human habitat, after all. Just stick close to one of the Marines and you'll be fine." Eli is given a sharp little nod, since she appears to be offering to defend Effie from monster frogs. "We'll be doing this in standard grid sweeps. Detectors out at all times. Don't take a step anywhere you aren't sure of."

The slightly widened eyes of the Crewman are evident as she just nods. "Yes, sir." She takes this news fairly well, and glances over to Eli. Eli's armed. Eli will work. "Hi. Effie. Don't let anything gnaw on me, ok?"

Eli sticks close to Effie, flashing a hint of a charming smile and a wink before squinting and taking in her surroundings carefully. "Browne, and it'll have to get through me first, and most of my girlfriends have claimed I don't taste so good." A pause. "I'm not being dirty." A pause. "I'm being quiet again now." Oh look. Mud. Ew.

Effie almost misses a step as Eli says that, but then there's clarification. "Oh, well." Cough. "Thanks for being my marine shield and everything."

Eli chuckles and is just walking along calmly before the metal detector she's holding? Well, it goes off…it spikes big time and her icy blue eyes widen as she has to drop the metal detector to use that hand to snatch Effie up by the back of her backpack/tunic, lifting her up there dangling some as she asks calmly. "What the frak?" A pause. "Err…sirs? People? Dudes? There is something here and I believe it is big. And I'd like somebody to please take this woman. Please."

Effie's snatched in mid-glasses-adjust, and they go a bit askew as she flails. "Ohmigod, wedgie." Squeak.

Rhea has her detector out and in detecting mode, though she doesn't come across anything right off. She comes to an abrupt stop when Eli speaks up. In her tracks, literally. She turns her body, careful of where she position her feet, toward the Marine. "Easy Crewman," she says, moving to try and take Effie back and off of Eli's hands. Gingerly. She's no Marine. "Trilox, give me a hand with this." She can't help but boggle at Eli's show of strength. "What is Gaelan feeding you all in Marine country?"

The metal detector falls onto the swamp with a squish beside Eli's right boot. It's beeping feverently, indicator far off into the red, as solid of a hit as you can get. Something is down there.

"Hey, what the hell is that?" the pilot of the Raptor says, pointing outside the cockpit at Eli and Effie. "Frak me. Get on the horn." The co-pilot starts yakking through the wireless. "Two-four-six, we have a problem. Standby."

Sora raises up an eyebrow at the news of finding something already. "Grilled Cheese Sandwhiches…" she says, as she slowly starts to move to lend hand.

Zaharis holds up a hand, signaling for the PO behind him to stop walking. "They've got something up there. Back it up couple steps, get yourself ready." He also takes a single step backwards in his own tracks, brow arched as he watches them play with metal stuff. Oh whoopie.

At the commotion, another bird takes flight from the tree near the swampy path, cawing into the distance. Ominous silence.

Effie's feet swing a little before they touch the ground again off to the side. "Aw." It's a soft sound, and she does a little hip shake. While everyone's busy looking at the ground, she reaches down and spelunks for her panties. Leg shake. No one will notice, surely.

Eli just offers to Rhea. "…I work out." Then she works on making sure Effie can be transferred over carefully, grimacing at all the beeping and taking a deep breath. "…if I get blown up…however. The Major might feed me my own nuts. So." Another wary look to Effie. "You okay?"

Effie immediately stops twitching around, hand on her own ass. "Yeah, fine." Freeze. Stop looking.

Rhea cracks a faint grin at Effie when the crewman is back on the ground. Then she returns to staring at Eli's metal detector. "I'd say you got one, Sergeant. Everybody stay back." In case they needed the warning. "Relax. We're equipped. This is what we came for."

Sora hmmms a moment, and stops. Watching to see how they do this..well their professionals.

As the co-pilot reports things through the wireless, he reaches forward to prime the Raptor's reactor, but the pilot quickly slaps away the hand. "You crazy? Mines pick up vibrations. We're all gonna die."

"So…sir." Eli slowly looks away from Effie to look to Rhea curiously.

"Staff Sergeant Trilox, get back with the medics. Outside the blast perimeter," Rhea says, motioning Sora back from the mine. Lucky girl. She kneels. Motioning for the other sappers to do the same. Tools out. Game time. "Let's get on with this. Crewman Logo. You've got the highest demo cert here, from the mission specs. Where'd you learn to do this work, anyhow?"

Zaharis is chilling with his PO back a bit from the group trying to disarm. His eyes are watching them closely, the medic already getting some supplies out of his bag. Just in case.

Sora nods, "Righto" as she moves back towards the medics. Of course, who knows how big that perimeter might actually be. But safe is always good. As she gets back to the medics, she turns to watch the drama.

A large dark green animal waddles out from the treeline. It looks and has the shape of a muskrat, but uglier. It stands on its haunches and looks at the strange plane and the strange people, twitching its whiskers curiously.

The metal detector continues beeping strongly. Whatever it is, it seems to be made of a lot of metal. It's also likely to attract animals. Maybe.

Effie gets everything situated more or less where it should be, and her hands are already in her pack, kneeling on the ground. She looks up. "Er… well, you could say I had a series of careers, sir. It was after vet tech, before mechanic. I fell inta a position with a mining company. Turned out demo and me clicked. It's thinks with metal parts. We work together. Squishy bits ain't my bag, ifya know what I mean. Sir. Plus I shaved the wrong poodle once and it ended in tragedy." Maybe better not to ask about Logo's employment history.

Eli starts to squat slowly and carefully, plucking up that beeping detector and with a few pushes, pulls and a thump. She gets the thing to stop beeping as she looks to Effie strangely for a few moments, head tilting to the side before she frowns and looks back to the detector, looking down at the ground under her feet. "Whatever this thing is…has to be huge."

"Dude, dude, dude." The co-pilot slaps the pilot on the shoulder. He points to the treeline. The pilot makes a groaning noise. "Oh my gods, I can't watch this."

Zaharis has his attention on the two-legged things. Until the four-legged one appears out of the treeline. His eyes flicker that way, catching the movement in his peripheral vision. "Staff Sergeant," he says to Sora, under his breath, his chin tilting up towards the ratlike thing. "They got company and it might have teeth."

Rhea nods firmly, as to an aversion to squishy bits. "I've never been a pet person," she says firmly. She's situated now. "I like metal. Most of the time." Whatever's beeping down there she's not loving so much right now. "Alright. Let's see what we're dealing with. Start digging. Carefully. These things are usually pressure activated. It's damn big to be a mine." Which seems to comfort her. She's on the look-out for little exploding buggers. She ignores nature, though.

The green muskrat goes back on all fours and starts waddling toward the Eli and the people gathered around her, ignoring the plane, Sora, and the medical personnel. It'll take two pose cycles to get there. Squish squish squish.

"If it's a pressure trigger, we'd probably be ventilated by now," Effie narrates helpfully. "It could still be an electrical trip. Not my favorite, admittedly, but they ain't too difficult ta take down. Easier'n a oiled up pooch, that's for sure." Effie gingerly begins to dig, hands quite sure. "You stick a finger the wrong place shampooin' a wild beast and you could lose a hand. Or your dignity."

Sora nods, "Well, it's a critter allright…" as she brings up her rifle, "Maybe it's just curios and will go away. Then again, maybe it's looking for a mate…hard to say." as she tracks the thing. "You got a critter incoming!" she shouts out to the others.

"Think it's good barbecued?" The Medic PO mutters, watching the rat carefully. He might be drooling a bit. Eel don't do it for him.

Eli just frowns and looks over her shoulder in time to see the critter, hand moving to her side arm as she squints and then hunkers down some to start helping with the digging carefully, eyeing the creature from time to time. "…hunh." Then she just chuckles and looks back between Effie and Rhea and then back at the task at hand. "I think I had a pet like that when I was 8. I brought it inside and my mother threw a knife at it and screamed." A pause. "Only it wasn't green. And technically it peed on the floor…"

Rhea looks up. And back. Toward the indicated critter. She frowns. She is /not/ a nature girl. "Keep it clear of us." A general sort of order aimed at Sora and the medics. "But don't fire yet, Trilox. Unless it gets threatening. Don't want to risk attracting more of the damn things." She directs her attention to digging. Carefully. Sift, sift, sift. She doesn't look up at Eli, but she snorts softly at the story. "And I thought the dog was bad…"

The animal bares its fangs, long white ones, and starts taking off at a jog. One more pose cycle.

Right. The medics, fire at something? Har. Zaharis has his sidearm out and ready, as does the PO, but to say they're a less than threatening presence would be the understatement the decade. As it speeds up, though, Zaharis' back tenses. "That thing's not playing, Zim. Watch your backs!"

As the diggers continue, they start getting hints of gray. Eli is standing right on a patch of it. It's about the size of a couch, if they're digging in the right spots.

"A what?" Effie's head comes up and her hands pause. A granola bar wrapper crinkles in her pocket as she leans over. Half a granola bar is still in it. Don't worry, if things get hairy the mostly-blonde Crewman will make the supreme sacrifice. Or will she? "Geez." She goes back to digging. Please don't bite me, please don't bite me.

Sora hmms, as the thing starts to speed up heading for the group. "I say that confirms it as hostile." As she draws a bead on the critter, "and if anything, the gunshot will cause any others to move away from us…." as she draws back on the trigger.

Eli frowns at seeing some of the grey, raising her hands slowly and then clearing her throat. "…um, metalheads? Sir? Do you know what this might be?" Then she pauses to glance over at the creature again, arching an eyebrow and just /staring/ at it kinda like 'try it bitch, I'll show you how fieval went west' but she doesn't seem /too/ concerned. Really.

"Engage, Staff Sergeant" Rhea affirms to Sora firmly. "Just aim carefully." She takes a deep breath. Trying to tune out the fang-y creature. Sift, sift, sift. She clears as large an area as she can around the gray. Growing more intrigued as she goes. "This is…not a mine…" She does love her metal things. As she works to sift more of it into the open, it becomes clear the thing is crescent-shaped, with burn marks over one end of it and a jagged straight part, as if it had been shorn off. Wires come out of the jagged straight part. There's an image of some sort in the center, though Eli's standing over it, so her boots are in the way of clearing a visual.

The muzzle of Sora's M115 flashes bright white for a split second. The bullet connects with the green muskrat midstride and slams into its brainpan. Red squirts out the back as the bullet leaves the animal and lodges into the depths of the swamp. The animal slumps and rolls sideways two feet before its momentum runs out. The loud report of the bullet seems to echo into the distance.

Effie pulls a simple gizmo from her bag and gently applies ends gently against the metallic surface of the thing. "No surface charge. Once, when I was about fourteen, I buried a 'time capsule'. Unfortunately it has some jerky in it, the neighbors dog smelled it, dug it up, and managed to get the box open. It ate my chemistry experiment and died the next day." She pauses for a breath. "I hope this isn't one of those situation—." She winces at the shot, and then goes back to digging.

Zaharis quirks a brow as the shot rings and the rat goes flump *ded*. He exhales a silent breath through his nose, looking back at the working team and waiting.

The pilot starts shouting, "What the hell was that? Was that a shot?" The co-pilot punches him in the shoulder. "Shut the frak up." He gets on the wireless. "Two-four-six, we've been engaged by a small animal. We shot it, pretty sure it's dead."

Eli moves back some and then tenses when she hears the gunshot, glancing back towards the animal. Does she look a bit sad? Not quite, but she just looks a bit disappointed before looking down to thing under her feet. "Hunh…" A pause. "Sir, do you want us to try to…dig it up?" She asks as she takes a cautious step back so Rhea can see better.

The symbol comes into view as Eli steps away from it. A vacuum black pentagon nestled inside another black pentagon. The symbol emblazoned on the wings of first-era Cylon Raiders.

Sora watches as the shot hits true, and the critter comes to a halt finally. "Ok, your critter problem is not a problem." She gives the area another quick scan, before turning back to the miners.

Rhea turns her head as Sora's shot rings out. Blowing the critter's head off. She nods shortly, satisfied. "Very nicely done, Staff Sergeant." There's no pity in her heart for the beast. To Eli, she nods. Firmly. "Oh, yes, Sergeant." Her eyes widen a little. The symbol is recognized. "I think we're going to want unearthed. Command'll want a look at this." She looks to Effie. "You're quite sure it's fully deactivated, Crewman?"

Zaharis is still watching, too far away to be able to see what they're seeing in the ground. The PO glances up at the sky and then back at the group, shifting his weight from foot to foot.

Tactical channel three goes alive, to those who have a wireless. "Major Zimmerman, Lieutenant Shem. Major Zimmerman, Lieutenant Shem. How do you read?"

"No," Effie shakes her head, "but it has no surface charge." She rolls her sleeves up. "I can try to pop a panel…" Mad mechanic at work. "I have my kit."

Eli looks down and squints at the symbol for a few moments before frowning and inhaling sharply. Attention going back to where the creature just got shot, licking her lips and just falling silent and waiting for orders. Wheeeeeeeew boy.

Rhea is tempted to dig right into the guts of the thing. Mad mechanic that she is. But the tac channel reminds her to refrain. She holds up a hand to Effie. Later. And responds into the wireless. "Lieutenant Shem. Major Zimmermann reading you loud and clear. We had a little encounter with some native wildlife, but it's been dispatched." She pauses a beat before adding, "We've found something buried down here, Lieutenant. The metal detectors went crazy over it. Cylon raider. Old model, looks like something out of the first war."

Zaharis raises his head slightly, listening to the tac chatter. So that's what's over there. He raises a brow towards the digging team, still there in the background.

Effie sits back with her hands resting on her knees. She would enjoy a lookie loo into the guts of the raider, but she refrains as silently requested. Her eyes skim the area, skipping right over the dead animal.

"A what?" Shem says, over the wireless. His surprise is evident even through the channel. "No, that can't be. Is that confirmed?"

"I'm looking at it as we speak, Lieutenant. Confirmed," Rhea repeats into the wireless. "It's got a symbol on the wings that matches the first-era Cylon Raiders. Black pentagon. It wasn't too far under but it was good and buried. We could've walked right over it and not felt a thing. It looks well broken down. Burn marks evident, wires coming out. It didn't land here soft."

Eli scratches her cheek, looking around curiously and muttering. "What…if there are more…" Whether she's talking about the moldy rats or the cylon antiques, it is hard to tell as she frowns.

Effie's eyes return to the raider, her eyes searching the visible contours. She drums her fingers on her knees, and refrains from digging around for her tool kit. Just. Barely.

The wireless is silent for a short moment. "Understood, major. I, mmm, recommend returning back. I can send another team to recover it. I need to run this by the XO."

"Would…a creature like that be herbivous…or carni…verous? Or omniverous…" Eli is lost in her own little waiting for orders world. Talking to herself. Seeing as Betty had to be left behind.

"Copy, Lieutenant Shem. Understood. You want us to hold off clearing any remaining mines, then?" Rhea adds, into the wireless, "I'd like to volunteer to aid in exhuming it, if the XO gives the go-ahead." She exchanges a little nod with Effie. "Along with any of this team that's able and willing, as we've gotten a head start." *She* sure as hell wants to get her mad mechanic on with the raider, and she suspects Effie does as well.

There's another short pause. "Yes, sir, hold off on clearing the LZ. I'll pass along the message. See you soon." There's a double click through the wireless.

"Maybe…it eats eels." Eli blinks and scratches her head, turning to look between Rhea and Effie, waiting!

"Two-four-six, pick up your passengers and return to base," an androgyous voice instructs over the wireless. The pilot — yes, it is Ellis — straightens in his seat and flips the switches to prime the reactors. "Thank the gods." A rumble builds in the Raptor's innards that slowly spool higher and higher.

OhGods. Another raptor flight. "Shouldn't someone stay here… to guard the… er… " She waves her hand around the raptor. "Thing." Effie eyeshifts.

Rhea clicks her wireless, directing her attention back to the symbol on the metal. As much intrigued as anything else at the idea of standing on top of Cylon technology. But, there'll be time enough for that later. "Let's head out," Rhea says, slogging back toward the Raptor. To Effie she smirks. "Tempting as it is not to get back in that cart, I think it'll keep. Don't worry, Crewman. If I have anything to say about it, you'll get to play with that thing."

Ellis shouts out the hatch, his voice quickly being drowned out by the increasing roar of the engines, "Just so ya'll know, I'm not above leaving any of you!" The co-pilot performs some pre-flight checks.

Eli turns to prepare to head out, scanning the area warily and sticking close to Effie as usual…hey, she promised as she stays quite. Thinking about poor poor Bucktoothed Lewis, who died. Gunshot wound to the body.

Effie grins widely as Rhea says her last. "Ok." She's almost perky again, at least until she turns toward the raptor again. She glances over at Eli, "Thanks for the save, even if it wasn't a mine and my panties went where no panties should ever go." She hustles to the bucketer raptorand scrambles up on the wing before shuffling inside to strap herself in.

Rhea offers Ellis a short nod. Though she doesn't look pleased to see him or his Raptor. "Try to get us back to Genny in one piece," she says dryly. Strapping herself in. As tightly as one can be strapped.

And, with that, the Raptor launches gracefully into the air and heads back for the Genesis, leaving behind a shorn off Cylon Raider wing and, sadly, the soon-to-be-decaying body of the green muskrat.

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