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Hitting the Beach

Posted on Tue Nov 20th, 2018 @ 3:06am by Makeba Brown & Staff Sergeant Gaagii & Sergeant Shayla Kunadt & Staff Warrant Officer Jennifer Masters - Calhoun & Major Cornelius Tremble & Sergeant Azure Thompson & Corporal Rairror Thoran
Edited on on Tue Nov 20th, 2018 @ 3:45am

Mission: Episode 5 - It Would Be Their Pleasure
Location: Tadian IV
Timeline: MD009 1600 hrs

They’d been bored to death, sharing the same small space with too much equipment for nearly 100 hours. The Hawkeye, even with environmental scrubbers and filters working at maximum efficiency, had taken on a decided funk.

It was low grade, but it was there.

However, things were looking up. An hour ago they’d started suiting up and then shuttle dropped out of warp at a pirate point, located near the apex of the planetoids atmosphere, relative to it’s position with the systems star as it hung in space.

Shayla had been piloting the Hawkeye non stop since they left the Pioneer. Well piloting was a relative term, as there was not much to do when one as warp. However, the navigational sensors showed the woman exactly what she wanted to see. They were approaching Tadian IV. "Alright ladies and germs let's kick the tires and light the fires. Here we are." She guided the shuttle at impulse to the planetoid, and when they were in range the EVAC Specialist placed them in a geosynchronous orbit.

Neil activated the Hawkeye’s mission screens and the blower, “Alright, one more time. We hit the LZ, move toward our chosen infil point. Recon splits, makes entry and overwatch outside. Once all elements cycle through and muster, we drop a two man security detail, securing the lock.” The map scrolled and various way-points appeared as he talked, “We move to this intersection and Gunny Wilson and Team 3 go left, moving to the hanger area. Once there, they surveil it, determining if it will serve as a secondary exfil point. Command and Team 2 goes right, searching and clearing. Whoever finds the asset will secure and we’ll figure out the rest from there. On exfil, we move to point Bravo and load on the Hawkeye.”

The brief flickered through and the screens went dark, “Keep calm, watch your breathing and trust to your training. Prepare for drop."

Neil moved forward then and looked through the view port.

From orbit, Tadian IV was a pearl colored planet swirled with red and tinges of blue. “Beautiful, isn’t it?” Tremble heard someone say behind him. Neil nodded, without turning his head, “Yeah, too bad we have to land on it, he groused.”

The Hawkeye slid through a tight orbit, the craft’s sensors passively searching the planet and near orbit. “Deploy the Halo,” Neil said as he moved to one side. To one side of the copilot’s seat, a section lit up as two cargo pod’s opened and twelve basketball sized orb’s blew out and moved to their respective orbits. The Halo, or High Amplitude LOw Frequency satellites would hold position over their proposed landing zone for 6 hours, before burning out.

“Deployed,” the copilot acknowledged. “They’ll be in position in, fifteen minutes.”

“Right,” Neil acknowledged. “Begin insertion.”

"Acknowledged..." Kunadt said as her hands danced over the shuttle's flight console. She guided the Haweyes down into the atmosphere. "Hold on gang it is going to get a wee bit bumpy." She called to the team waiting behind her. The Hawkeye ducked and weaved it's way through thermal pockets. On top of everything the pilot worked hard to avoid detection from the enemy detection grids. The LZ was in sight, however, one of the largest parts of the detection grid was right next door. She engaged a tight barrel roll as the shuttle skirted the detection grid a began the final descent. "We are beginning the final descent. The board is green go... go... go..."

As the shuttle neared the landing zone, Neil watched the timer run down in his goggles and yelled out, “30 seconds!” The landing cycle kicked in as Lance Corporal Kunadt touched the controls, flaring the Hawkeye as it kissed and settled into the ground. The ramp dropped and Marines surged into the craggy, dimly lit surface of Tadian IV. After forming a perimeter around the Hawkeye, the marines paused for twenty beats, surveying the area before Tremble keyed, “No contact. RECON go!”

At that, Sgt. Gaagii’s squad and Gunny Wilson were up and moving into the muggy air as the rest remained in place. Neil had hit his quick release with the rest, and was checking sensors and monitoring the recon team. They dropped from his scope after 100 meters and he cursed under his breath. They’d be playing tag all night. “Razor, you just dropped from our scopes,” he called to Wilson.

Gaagii had been bringing up the rear of his team, as Wilson had taken point. The reconn specialist preferred to communicate with hand signals as there was no risk of giving up their cover. However, the Lieutenant was calling over the comm. Gaagii looked through his scope, and scanned the area as he looked for unknown power signatures. His scope doubled as a tricorder, a useful piece of equipment to have in a reconn team. Sure enough he found one it seemed that there was a dampening field in effect, this must be masking their signatures from the rest of the team. Gaaggii used the predetermined hand signals to inform Wilson of this.

The gunny gave a nod and returned the signal for Gaaggii to move up so they where separated but line abreast, if they where out of sight and signal she didn't away anyone farther ahead, they needed to be able to cover each other right away. But the best way to counter the loss of contact was to move up until they could be seen from overwatch. She did have to mark some strange hazards however, plants? Or strange mineral deposits that had some nasty thorns on them, more then enough to puncture a EVA suit.

Acknowledging the signal Gaagii left two men with the Gunny and took two to the position she had indicated. Upon arrival he began the reconn. He started scanning the area and he took special not of the weapons depot. He also saw the door that would lead them in to where the asset was being held. He ordered his men to take up sniping positions but not to fire until the order is given. Something that caught his attention was a cave complex about 3 clicks due north of his position. "Pathfinder 1 in position 1. New contact found, repeat new contact found. Cave complex 3 clicks due north. It could contain enemy forces." he whispered into the com channel.

Wilson motioned for the two marines to follow her, inching up to cover the first cave. While staying out of line of fire to the cave complex. "assit is priority, but wee need tae keep those caves covered."

"Acknowledged Gunny! We are moving in closer to the caves for further exploration and sniping coverage. It seems that they are on the other side of the complex and we could easily cover the complex if needed." Gaaggii replied and moved toward the cave. Within minutes he was there and when he regrouped with Wilson and her team he was glad to be speaking to her face to face.

"My suggestion is we leave the rest of the team here in sniping positions so they can provide cover for command. You and I move in to the cave and sweep it out. Tricorders should be able to give us a good lay of the land in there." The Sergeant stood fairly relaxed despite the tense climate of the situation that they were in.

Wilson gave a nod, swinging her rifle around and pulling the Phaser pistol off it position on her belt. "Sounds good, relay that and I'll take point."

She waited until she got a affirmative of being ready before heading into the cave, sticking close to the walls and showing a impressive skill and being quite and covering corners as she went in.

Gaagii backpedaled into the cave as he watched to make sure that no one could see them or follow. He purposely dragged his feet as he walked, a technique that covered up any visible tracks that he and the Gunny had made. Once inside the cave he switched to a sweep and clear pattern of movement. He would move from one side of the cave to the other, advancing his position as he did. While he moved the Sergeant checked the rear for any followers.

The two Marines moved through the cave with relative ease and in total silence. The more that they advanced in the cave the more Gaagii did not like the situation. Just as he was about to speak up he noticed that Wilson had stopped at what seemed to be an airlock. "You get something there?" He whispered into his mic.

Wilson had stopped and was carefully checking the airlock, all they needed was a booby trap going off or a alarm. She inspected controls and locks. She didn't like this, electronics and security was not her forte. "It doesnae seam tae hav any alarms or traps, how are ou wit security?.. And Ima sur it's gonna make enough noise when we open tha dam thin"

"I have been trained to gain entry, after all that is the nature of RECONN at times." The native American spoke as he looked over the door. After about five minutes of looking Gaagii stepped back from the hatch and grabbed Wilson to pull her back as well. "There is good news and bad news. The good news is that this door has already been bypassed which means we may be on the right track. The bad news is that there is a high yield explosive and incendiary device attached to this door. We open it we go boom. My suggestion is to call for the rest of the team and we regroup here. Perhaps Lance Corporal Thoran can disarm the bomb." As he spoke Gaagii took a look at his wrist sensors to make sure that no one was coming in from the cave entrance.

"Arenae ye glad Ah had enough sense nae tae open tha' damn thin'?" Wilson gave him a nod as she made the comment, punching the com button on her wrist. "Wit' tha' exception ah overwatch Ah need our entire element tae fi'rm up on mah current locations. Thoran ye specifically."

After ten minutes, Neil checked his suits sensors and made sure his mask and goggles were in place, then moved down the ramp, Masters in tow and they were immediately surrounded by the remaining squad and they moved into cover near a low rise as the Hawkeye’s engines powered up and the craft lifted from the surface.

=/\=This is the Hawkeye, we are dusting off and heading to the EVAC coordinates. Happy hunting. Hawkeye out!"=/\= Kunadt's voice rang through all of the Marine's comm systems.

The surface of Tadian IV was not just a study in black and white. Black sand and volcanic glass crunched under there booted feet as they trotted through the rough terrain. The acidic, white grey fog that passed for atmosphere amplified the sunlight, causing everything to have a kind of weird, surreal shimmer to it as heat radiated from the dark surface.

“Much better than a walk on the beaches of Casperia Prime,” Neil said, his voice crackled over the teams helmet speakers. Keep this pace, we’re on track.” He didn’t think he needed to remind anyone of their jobs. This strange environment and the suits they were wearing would ensure a fairly fast pace and tight ranks as natural tendencies to band together and move through the unknown came naturally.

Being enclosed in the suits, had them all feeling isolated. Training intervals familiarized the Marines with the gear: wearing them in the field as needed meant you never really felt comfortable with them. Neil was of a mind to let those feelings percolate. It would balance the fear and keep them all sharp.

“How does it feel to shake off that starship dust and go for a walk with Marines, Warrant Officer?” Neil asked after a few minutes. He saw a couple of heads jerk from his voice, surprised as they were brought out of their hyper focused state. They were moving fast, but the mind churned faster.

Jenn turned over Neil. "Well, it's not how I imagined my get away from the ship day." She grinned. "But it's a nice change of scenery."

Makeba had been content as she kept silent since the Hawkeye left the Pioneer. However, now that they have made planetfall and she was still not allowed a weapon she had become nervous. When Makeba Brown got nervous she became sarcastic. "Indeed a change of scenery where everyone is trying to kill you." She shot Niel a look as she walked by.

Jenn heard Makeba speaking. She really didn't like the woman, feeling all better because she did finished the academy. Well, she left. Tough love. "Oh, come on lieutenant, look at the bright side, you get to stretch your legs. It's not like I see you exercise in your cell."

The joke actually caused Makeba to laugh out loud. "Listen here Ms Masters. I bet you don't even know why your contact chose this god foresaken rock." Makeba didn't wait for a response. She fanned out with the rest of the team, as Masters had the right of it, it did feel good to back in action. Although she would never admit that the Intel officer was right. Makeba crouched down near a rock outcropping. She took a stance wherein she could pounce and strike if needed. Her body language mimicked that of a predatory cat.

Neil pointedly ignored the Maquis as he trotted along, his eyes sweeping his zone of responsibility. His HUD was pinging with the 'follow-me' bacons every 50 meters and he had all of his squad's icons up. Complaining and chatter helped keep the stress under control and it was easy enough to ignore it. He let his carbine hang on it's sling as he checked his Tricorder vambrace. He was getting the readouts they had expected, which was something.

"Keep your intervals," he reminded his team.

As they marched, Azure, being the Command Fire Team corpsman, monitored the lifesigns of her team, and for this mission, Warrant Officer Masters' too. All were within optimum parameters, when you accounted for the current conditions. The lack of vegetation annoyed the botanist in her.

Makeba hung back and walked over to Tremble and Masters. "The two of you seem to be in charge of this sh*& show. You need to know Xoica would not do this. There is no way in anything that she would put herself out in the open like this. She is here but hiding somewhere, in some cranny. You go to that installation and trust me people will die on both sides." When she spoke there was an odd twinge to her voice. You could tell that on one side there was the hint that none of this was her problem, but on the other you could hear that she cared in her voice.

Tremble heard Brown's concerns. "You're right. If Fleet Intel had thought this was going to be a standard pickup, they'd have sent in their teams. When we were tapped for this, I figured it was going to be us dealing with a problem free of charge for this Xoica. I hate walking into unknowns, but that's what we do."

Jenn nodded. "You should send some of your men to scout ahead, relay the lay of the land. Maybe we should enter in a more secure location. Try to minimize the casualties."

They were closing rapidly on the coordinates for the pickup and Neil's HUD picked up the Marines that had been posted to overwatch positions. They threaded their way through a small crevice into the caves Gaagii and Wilson had infiltrated. His HUD was flashing red and he waived his team into cover positions in a natural trench, waiting for the go ahead. He updated the team's HUD net and activated his whisper mike, "Razor, this is Lead. We're ready to follow on, Sit-Rep?"

Five minutes later, the Cure's Recon element was cycling through. Thoran had neutralized and rigged a bypass on the explosives remote and kept any trace of their presence, hopefully, from being relayed.

Neil moved up with the Command element and entered the lock after the hatch opened and the lighting indicators changed to amber.

They had found the maze: now for the Minotaur.

A Joint Post By:

Second Lieutenant Cornelius Tremble
Marine Commanding Officer, USS Pioneer

Warrant Officer Jennifer Masters
Chief Intelligence Officer, USS Pioneer

Gunnery Sergeant Wilhelmina Wilson
First Sergeant/Rifle Fire Team 2 Leader, USS Pioneer

Sergeant Gaagii
RECONN Fire Team Leader, USS Pioneer

Corporal Azure Thompson
Corpsman Command Fire Team, USS Pioneer

Lance Corporal Shayla Kunadt
EVAC Specialist, USS Pioneer

Lance Corporal Rairror Thoran
Munitions Specialist, USS Pioneer

Makeba Brown
Maquis Tactical Officer


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