Writ in Burnished Rows of Steel
Summary: Having successfully landed on Helen, the Marines from the Majestic go about setting up their base and starting to coordinate with the locals. Unfortunately, the Kilrathi are not going to sit idly by…
Date: 2658.009
Related Logs: He Hath Loosed the Fateful Lightning, Helen Strike Brief

What was once a small farming town has now found itself as the ad hoc headquarters for the Confederation presence on Helen. A pair of squat Diligent transports rest to one side of the town center, occupying a flattened space that appears from what's left to have been a warehouse of some sort. Their weapons are fully depressed, pointed in opposite directions to provide cover to the town. Many of the settlement's buildings appear to have been abandoned by their inhabitants, a few near the edges of town burned out by fighting. To the west of the town center, a pair of low-slung concrete buildings fly the Confederation flag proudly above.

The town itself is largely surrounded by fields, with a sizeable forest stretching off to the southwest. The forest itself is presently in the process of being consumed by an inferno, sending a pillar of dark smoke high into the sky. Right at the edge of where the forest formerly began, amidst the charred ground and snapped-off trunks of trees rests the burned-out wreckage of a dozen Kilrathi tanks.

For the moment, depsite the evidence of recent destruction, things seem rather quiet. The inhabitants of the village work hurriedly with their recently-arrived TCMC allies to unload the contents of the landed transports and set up basic defenses. Meanwhile, in front of the 'headquarters' building, a rather animated conversation is taking place between three men. A short, balding civilian man, a tall man with a rather wild and unkempt look about him, and a Confederation Navy officer with Lieutenant Commander's rank insignia.

Melia is stood near the parameter of the little camp fully geared up and on the watch, she how ever can't help but keep glancing over her shoulder at teh heated debate that is coming on between the three men. "For godsakes." She mutters, having heard enough of their belly aching she debates bracking them up or merely walking away it's time for her little walkabout anyway.

It really has to suck to be a farmer whatever universe you're in. If you're not dirt poor, scratching yourself and making a living grubbing crops, you're the nameless soul being eaten by baddies and offering various tasks. Raine's here, quietly helping patch people up as needed and hopefully watch over her own squadmates (Hello kitty bandages and all). Treeless for the moment, she seems a little uneasy. She lingers near Melia, likely listening to the conversation as she can. Ponder.

This is something the Marines don't have every day - their own pet pilot. Aquilina ("Private" Aquilina by his pins, har) is down here on detachment for FAC training with the TCMC, wearing their uniform with just his small metallic wings clipped inconspicuously at his belt - just in case someone needed to find "the pilot" for some reason. On guard patrol officially, he's talking offhandedly to the Sergeant he's by, the real marine pointing towards some points on the horizon.

While there seems to be a bunch of stripping of shields, techs swarm around the ships. One in particular, drenched in sweat finishes up working on a section before directing a couple of ranking enlisted off towards another section. He lifts his arm to his head, wiping the sweat off onto his sleeve. The man reaches into his pocket and produces a back of cigarettes. Shaking one out, the late-40's E2 walks over towards Melia and offering a smoke to her. "Heya Miss. Want yourself somethin' to keep company with?" Brooks doesn't indicate whether he means himself or the cigarette.

Fresca has her camera and is filming, big surprise. The reporter has been geared up somewhat, in that she's at least wearing the same kit she had last time. Whether or not she can use the film right now, she's taking it. Even if it has to wait 10 years, eventually it'll be a top notch story to tell. Assuming she lives, of course. The camera zooms in on the forest fire, as much as she can, and on the burnt out wreckage, before she returns to pan what's left of the town.

Hylanen is currently one of those helping with the construction, muttering something to himself. The tall Finn looks tired, like someone who hasn't had their best night of sleep before ending up out in the field, but otherwise looks okay. Once in a while glancing around a bit thoughtfully.

"…Three ring fucking circus" The taller man can be heard to say, pointing towards Fresca before looking to the other two angrily. "Let me guess, you've got the dancing camels somewhere in back? I'm telling you, we need to hit them /now/ before they have a chance to figure out what we're up to"

The shorter, balding man shakes his head. "And then what? Take over the entire planet with a couple hundred marines and the population of one town? The plan is what it is for a reason, Alec! We need time. We need a chance to get the supplies on those transports distributed. And that means, we need a secure base of operations. Or do I have to remind you how close your impatience came to ruining this from the start?" he asks, angrily waving towards the burned-out Kilrathi tanks just outside of town.
The Lieutenant Commander with the pair tries his level best to keep from sighing, but gives in to the temptation regardless. "Gentlemen!" he snaps, in very much the sort of tone used by drill sergeants the world over. The result makes both civilians jump a little. "I realize things work a little differently in your world, so let me clear something up for you. We are here to protect democracy, not to practice it." Someone appears to have gotten tired of the argument. "We are sticking to the plan, as arranged. Or I can order by transports to boost for orbit again, if you would prefer."
That threat stuns both civilians into silence.

Oblivious to any plan or three ring circus that might be around, Fresca continues to film what interests her, given the opportunity to do so. After all, it is what she's here for. She stays within the bounds patrolled by the guards, but travels the length and width within that area, unless stopped. For a moment, she pauses to film Hylanen and some of the other techs working on the construction, but at least she doesn't ask them to say hi for the folks back home.

Fun as gossip is, Raine has some work to do. She blinks as the fellow offers a cigarette to Melia. Righto. Work to do. She smiles politely (Although if one looks, Raine has a small cut from a tree- perhaps just enough to be put in a pot to grow later in one of her pockets. Is she ever really /entirely/ plantless? Weirdo) and resumes wandering about. She does smile and wave at Melia in passing. She seems content to exist, pondering the situation here in its infinite chaos and complexity. Being seems to be rather satisfactory. Work work.

Brooks turns slightly to watch the argument happen. He shrugs to Melia and pops the smoke from the pack, directly into his mouth in a well-practiced move. The bulky man reaches into a pocket and produces a Zippo, cracking it open and glowing the end of his cigarette red before clapping it shut and redepositing it. He takes a long puff, using his opposite sleeve to wipe the beaded sweat off his neck. The smoke is billowed skyward in a hefted breath. Tired eyes slowly move away towards Fresca, slicing her a wink before continuing on. Yep, another day at the office.

Aquilina idly spits on the ground, dust having gathered in his mouth somehow from the surface. When you're up in a ship too long you forget about stuff like 'atmosphere'. He glances at the source of the commotion and then back at the Sergeant next to him, who's going on about mounted artillery and how they function in hills. His green eyes squint at the person wandering around with a camera, thn that's shrugged off and he goes back to paying attention.

Say his name, and the old Marine has a tendency to appear. An assault rifle slung over across his back, Wallace is doing his NCO thing, pointing out possible fields of fire to the untrained civilians, and junior enlisted preparing the town's ad-hoc defenses. The Sergeant Major passes near Melia, stopping to make a quick report…"If the Kilrathi are the garrison fodder that Intel told us, these people might survive, Lieutenant. Limited fortification work is moving quickly, enough." A pause, and David adjusts the floppy boony cap that he wears in lieu of a helmet, and frowns. "If they've got real soldiers en route, ritual sacrifice sums up their fate, I'm afraid, ma'amn." Hands fall to his LBE, off of which a canteen hangs. Unscrewing the lid, he takes a swig, and then replaces the cap. "Suspect I should be thinking about rounding up a patrol, and take a look a bit beyond our perimeter. I don't care for surprises, ma'am." Eyes spot Raine, and his favorite Doctor is given a smile from beneath his immaculate 'stache.

Hylanen keeps on helping with the work on the construction part, frowning a bit as he works. Not one of the things he's best at, but still, got to be done, doesn't it?

Melia takes the cig from Brookies and gives the man a wink. "Oh trust me I got plenty of company. I got me a doctor, a Pilot and a reporter." She then gives Raine with a nod, then glances over towards the group of three men again and rolls her eyes. "Come on kids lets go take a walk." She says to the little gang she has following her, when did she go from Marine to childminder she'll never know. "Anyone seen Wallace lately?"

Fresca gets winked at, which makes her grin, but she doesn't say anything at all. She does draw nearer to Melia, glancing over at the folks arguing. Not so interesting that, not really. Or at least, not to Fresca. Instead, she says, "Mind if I come along with you?" to Melia? Seeing as how the other woman said something about a walk and all. Though with Wallace's arrival, she goes quiet again. Raine gets a smile and a small wave.

"You seem to have us at a disadvantage. Sir." The taller man grumbles acidly to the Navy officer, before he just falls silent.
"Yes. I do." The the Lieutenant Commander offers rather non-diplomatically. Apparently not chosen for the assignment for the negotiating skills. "Now, gentlemen. Let's have a look at hour our new installation is progressing, shall we?" he asks, turning to lead along towards the area where Hylanen has been working, trusting the other two to follow.

The first hints that something is wrong come from the transports… a soft whirr as the turrets traverse and depress a little further, down to the lowest elevation they can manage, followed by a pair of the soft 'whump' sounds as they both fire almost simultaneously.
What follows after is much tougher to miss, a blinding flash out in the fields to the north of town followed a moment later by a horribly loud crack-boom sound perhaps two seconds later, rather like thunder.

Sergeant Artillery gets called away on some urgent business, leaving Alex alone. Which, from the way he rubs his fingers across his forehead, might be a welcome change. He's just slid away from the spot where both men were starting to grow roots, digging around for a cigarette in his pocket. And what do you, he's just commenting to the nearby Brooks, "Hey. You got a…-" FLASHBOOM. Alex blinks at the horizon. "…light?"

Melia ducks and swears, going to wave down the rest of her details. "Down, every one to the ground. You too Private." She yells to Aqualina she does not want to be hearing Dejana's mouth if she doesn't bring the pilot back in one piece. "Report, what was that, where did it come from and why isn't it dead, two minutes ago." Melia calls, getting to her feet and talking into her radio.

'Stache! Raine grins and waves. She smiles though, letting her grin fall away. She smiles and fingertip waves to Fresca in turn. Brooks gets a cautious glance, but she seems friendly enough. Interesting, a new face that does not have a tree. She's content to mingle about quietly then, tagging along behind Melia. Her eyes widen hearing the WHUMP and crack boom. Raine flails and wobbles. She takes cover as Melia advises though, seeming to like her head attached to her shoulders. "What in the worlds-"

Brooks just gives a dour nod to Melia as he puffs away at his smoke. The E2 wets his lips and looks around still without much interest, letting the sweat dry for a bit so he can cool off. Then the turrets swing and he just leans away, sticking the cold end of his smoke into his ear canal. The weapons boom and there's a sigh from him before looking back to Alex. "Yeah, sure." He actually takes the time to dig into his pocket as he motions towads some cover on the other side of a building a few yards away. "Let's take a walk, eh?" His claw-hand reaches into the pocket and hands Aquilina the Zippo as he fast-walks off to the indicated, by himself or with anyone else.

First reaction from Fresca? She screams. Loudly and with a high pitch. Then at Melia's orders, she drops to the ground, careful of her camera and beginning to mutter something in Italian as she tries to get film of whatever just happened. At least she's not running towards the sound.

Here's the thing with Wallace. He's done this a few hundred times, near enough. There is a start at the sound of the Diligents' weapons firing, but he doesn't hit the dirt. Instead, the old Sergeant suppresses a smile, and offers an explanation to the Lieutenant. "Ah. That was friendly weapons fire, Lieutenant." Eyes shift toward the ships, and off toward the distance. "No alarm was risen regarding hostiles. I suspect it was a test, ma'am." He speaks up for the sake of Raine and Fresca, hoping to keep them from overreacting, perhaps.

Aquilina eyes Melia's ducking and swearing. Marines are some high-strung sorts. "Head's still on, sir." He takes the Zippo from Brooks, the thing clicking gently as he lights up the poor cigarette and flicks the lighter shut, tossing it back. "Thanks." He's curious enough to start walking along with Brooks towards the indicated cover, if with enough extra caution shuold something else boom any closer. Not in the mood to get blown up.

Hylanen blinks for a few moments as he hears that the flash and boom, and he looks around for a few moments before moving a bit away from what he's been working on. "Vitun vittu!" he mutters, before he looks around rather carefully for now. Not having hit the ground yet, but ready to do so if needed.

The civilians around town seem to get the idea to duck and cover without even needing Melia's instruction to prompt them, most of them quickly moving to lay flat in the mud. Including both men accompanying the TCN Officer. The Naval officer, for his part, remains on his feet. He reaches up for the communicaions piece at his ear, speaking quietly for a moment. "Gentlemen, it seems we have some wasps who are anxious to sting" he reports dryly to the pair of civilians down at his feet. "Get what men you have under arms to the north side of town."
The message goes out over the Marine communications a moment later. "Contact, north of town! Distance three kilometers." This, apparently, isn't exactly a weapons test.

"That or someone leaned on the controls," Raine supposes. Her panic is more flailing and wide-eyed staring. She catches her breath after a moment, smiling back at the 'Stache. Raine seems to trust him. She's glancing towarrds Fresca and then northwards. Hmmm. Frown. No one seems to be acting like it's a test? She looks to the others for now. "They move pretty fast."

Brooks moves off and settles a lean against the wall of the structure as Auilina follows close behind. He takes the lighter back with a smirk, nodding. "Looks like shits gonna get hairy." He lofts those fluffy eyebrows at the wing-wiper and pockets the Zippo. He motions to the wings on the man's belt. "What the hell brings you down here? Shouldn't you be slumberin with the rest of your buddies up on the warm, not-getting-fired-on Majestic?"

Hylanen gets hold of his gear now, shaking his head a bit. At least this gets him out of pretending to be able to build things, right? He moves over towards the rest of the Marines, frowning a bit.

"I get bored easy." Alex flashes a smirked grin to Brooks. He pulls the rifle off his shoulder, semi-ready in case anything comes down the way, and ashes the cigarette onto the ground. "FAC training. Alex Aquilina, you?"

"And, it would appear that I am incorrect." As the report of enemy contact buzzes in his ear, David frowns. The rifle comes down off of Wallace's shoulder, and is snugged against his shoulder, barrel remaining pointed at the ground. The grey-haired Sergeant glances at Raine, and then the reporter. "I suspect that the Doctor will be needed to the north. And that this will provide interesting footage, ma'am." The second part offered over to Fresca. An invitation to follow him north, apparently. The SarMaj points at Hylanen with his left hand, and toward the North. "Well, let's move forward, Private. See just what the Kilrathi have decided to send toward us." And then? He's off at a quick jog, eager to deal with this latest danger, and get back to the business of fortification.

Interesting footage? Aha. Fresca gets back to her feet, dusting herself off, and the camera is up and filming as Wallace heads along towards the northish. She glances around, not sure if she should be embarrassed for ducking. Or screaming. But nobody else seems to care, so she just takes a breath and lets it out in a half-sigh. "Interesting footage? Si, I shall have to go along, not so? It is not, I hope a test or I am certain I would fail." But she then starts after Wallace, with only a glance to see if Raine is also coming along.

Hylanen nods a bit as he hears Wallace, "Coming, Kersantti." Hurrying after the Sergeant, while checking his gear. "Let's see how they like this…"

Raine glances back, and nods. "Got it," She's somehow breaking the urge to call him sir. She's coming along. She's making sure she has enough Hello Kitty bandages and asprins though. Good to go! She doesn't seem to figure anyone's reaction was embarrassed, living in the zen state of calm through being worried by everything. She follows along, managing a faint smile at Wallace's eagerness. Well, here goes nothing.

The transports continue to engage at long range, doing their best impression of artillery… cycling through as fast as the cooling of the weapons will allow in the confines of a planetary atmosphere. A faint shimmer of heat becomes apparent in the air above the transports as the firing cycle continues, another series of booms echoing through the air, rolling across the flat landscape as energy lashes out at whatever hides in the landscape beyond.

After a moment or two of firing, the sound of the flak cannon dies down, and the sound of small arms fire can be heard drifting through the air. /Someone/ it seems, has already made contact.

A pause, and Wallace stops midstep, holding a hand for his little force to stop following. "Turn around. Think we've got a diversion to the north. " A finger shoots to the southwest, and the Mustache Man jogs in that direction, now. He does look eager, all things considered, doesn't he? Funny thing about spending a month in the sickbay, all messed up. And awaaaayyy we go.

Brooks doesn't so much as ash his smoke as sit it between his lips and allow the burned tabacco to fall off in chunks while he talks. He sticks a bearclaw out to Aquilina. "Ezekiel Brooks. Sounds like you got the shaft, kid." The cherry at the end of his cigarette bounces up and down as he speaks. Its amazing he's never lit one of those eyebrows on fire. Or maybe he has. Who knows? "Who'd you piss off? That fine-ass Marine El-tee over there or someone worse?" He grins, revealing some lovely tabacco stains on his teeth. The guy would probably be at home in a remake of Deliverance if it wasn't for the uniform. He then motions to Wallace moing off. "You gotta split? I'm always up to watching if you do."

Hylanen nods a bit as he hears Wallace, and starts heading to the southwest as fast as he can. Which would be rather fast, given his background from sports. Muttering something in Finnish as he keeps on moving.

"Volunteered." Alex smirks, shaking Brooks' hand. "They can come up with worse than this for punishment, pops." His head then turns, a slight frown thinning his lips as his attention goes southwest, at the same time Wallace calls it out. "I've got to stick with the El-Tee. Try not to set yourself on fire before we actually need the diversion, eh?" Securing rifle in hand, he moves around the corner of their cover and heads after the Wallace/Melia crew.

Melia gives a grunt as she's proven right. "See being over alert is a good thing." She says going to look over her little play group and make sure everyone is accounted for. "Okay Raine, seen as though you got gargar eyes for Wallace there I'll leave you in his safe and interested hands. Private Pilot, yur with your sitter and April O'Neil I guess your with me." She says going to move off after Wallance and move up so she's next to him. "Did I hear that right, you admited you was incorrect?" She asks, with a teasing smile.

Fresca isn't so quick as the others, but she was just getting to 'But wait, north - southwest - uhm,' when Wallace stopped them all and started them back to the southwest where the small arms-fire is. Guess whatever is to the north is getting dealt with by the big guns. Right. "And so another zig zag of confusion is lifted, and off we go. Not that I have much clue where we're going, but these fine folk do, and that's what counts." Her gaze goes up at Melia's comment, and a slight grin crosses her face. "You know, I'm gonna have to start imagining all the marines as turtles right?" she replies, though she does move up to just behind the marines.

"Gargar what? There were some trees-" Blink. Oh wait. North. The other north. Raine turns on her heals, although she turns briiiiiiiiiiiiight red at that comment. Ahem! She tags along behind Wallace nevertheless. So many distractions. At least she's paying enough to get her feet going the right way. Just a faint smile at Melia and the group she tags along with. "Turtles are cool," Mutant teenagers or otherwise.

As the group of Confederation soldiers and their hangers-on scurry to the south, the Naval Officer remains looking north… grumbling orders into his headset as the two men next to him get to their feet. He might be brave, he might have a forceful personality… but the man is still a squid, entirely out of his depth here on the ground. Which probably explains how he's continuing to direct his attention (and the attention of his units) entirely in the wrong direction. If something's to be done, it's down to the 'unofficial' response force.

The source of the weapons fire becomes apparent as the group moves towards the southwest. Among the buildings is a group of Kilrathi soldiers, weapons raised… the bodies of the sentries posted to that side of the town visible at their feet.

Melia swears softly as she goes to call out her orders. "Reporter, behind me now and do not move until I say so, getting shot will be nothing compared to my wrath if you get your dumb ass killed." She moves forwards Rifle to her shoulder and takes aim at the first group of Kilrathi, she whispers a pray for those fallen, time enough later to bury and see to them.

Hylanen is still moving forward as quickly as he can, raising his rifle to fire at one of the closest Kilrathi. Moving in a bit too fast to find some cover, it seems.

"It does happen, on very rare occasions, ma'am." A sigh, and Wallace stops short as he rounds the corner, noting the fact that a number of 8 foot tall kitty cats have decided to appear, weapons in hand. "Let's be smart, here. No charging and dying, people." He maintains a position of slight cover, leaning out to fire a long burst from his rifle at a pair of the Kilrathi that appear to be loaded down with gear. That smells like demolitioncats, and that is bad. He admirably pretended not to hear Melia claim Raine has gaga eyes for him, though he -does- look at the Doctor, and point toward the wall behind him.

Aquilina runs ground much like he does in flight; threat assessment's fast and as soon as instinct tells him the guns are pointed somewhere other than him, he uses the opportunity to stand for the best shot he can possibly take, aiming for one of the Kilrathi going for the civilian.

Technically an officer, with the heart of a fainting goat and the battle spirit of an enraged platypus. She moves for cover now, on Wallace's glance and motion towards the wall. Sure thing. She gets out her sidearm and peepss around the corner. Right, that pistol she was issued. Raine just hopes she doesn't put an eye out.

Fresca actually freezes momentarily as she sees the kitties over there, and the corpses, but then she hits the ground, taking cover. Course, the camera is out, and she's got it zoomed in on the kitties, as much as she can, even before she answers Melia. "You can haunt me if I die, surely. Though I think in that case I would be the ghost. If so, I will come back to allow you the opportunity." All the while she's filming. If she goes down, the footage will be spectacular!

Brooks is just moving semi-casually along, letting the other 'warrior-types' lead the way. He jogs a bit but when you get to his age, moving quick just isn't going to happen unless their is a buffet, free booze, or enticing women down the road. But moving around the corner, he spots the group of Kilrathi and actually manages a sprint to the next building to dive for cover near Aquilina - still managing to keep his cigarette intact. Man has skills. He looks up to the pilot as he takes aim and pulls a drag off his smoke as he sits up.

A quick exchange of fire erupts from both sides almost simultaneously… the Kilrathi scattering quickly to avoid drawing concentrated fire from the Confederation marines they've found in their path. Hit twice, one of the Kilrathi sappers falls to the ground, crawling towards cover and leaving a trail of blood behind him… unaware of the small fire that's started on his pack of goods from the bullet that passed straight through his chest.

Raine taking a hit is enough to righteously piss off the SarMaj, despite the fact he would never use such crude words like piss. And, that leads to Wallace stepping from behind cover, and firing another long burst from his rifle, dousing the less wounded sapper, and including the pistol-wielding officer with the last 10 rounds in his magazine. A click of empty, and he's already reaching for his pistol as he walks forward, letting the rifle hang from its strap, spent. He isn't madly charging, but he is walking straight into the hornet's nest. Call it drawing fire away from a far more critical mission asset in the form of Doctor Winterson.

Hylanen fires off a shot, then spins around as he gets a hit on the back of his armor. Frowning as he keeps on firing on that same target once more.

Hearing that the Doc is down, Brooks manhandles himself up to his feet and slowly approaches the corner, glancing out to her position quickly. "Hey Alex. How about some cover fire, yeah?" he calls over the automatic weapons. About the same time he dashes across the fire, losing his smoke in the process and glancing back at it without even stopping. There's a wretched torrent of curses from him. Finding Raine, he slides to a stop in the dirt beside her. "Hi!" he barks, looking her over. "Need some help?" He looks for her little doctor bag of Herrow Kitt3h bandaids to deliver some first/last aid.

Melia fires off her first shot, and in return get a bullet to her chest for her troubles. Thankfully it's stopped by the lovely taxes payers armour she's wearing, and shes only knocked back a little. Glancing around before her next shot she sees Raine go down and doesn't have time to check on her. She needs to keep firing. "Wallace, dammit." She mutters as the English man wonders straight past her.

Good thing the wise marines advised Raine to wear armor. She acks and falls over behind the wall. She s bandaging herself although her eyes go wide at Wallace walking in. Whoa. Stupid chest wounds. It takes Raine a moment to pull herself together. That smarts. "I'm okay. My stuff is there if you wanted to take some." Her eyes are wide now, surprised.

Aquilina keeps pushing forward towards the cluster of gunfire, keeping aim securely on the Kilrathi whose armor managed to stop his bullet. "You're good, Brooks, watch yourself." He sidesteps as Brooks goes past, keeping himself between any potential lines of fire and the injured.

Fresca's nose is apparently sticking out a little too far, camera and all, because her focus on filming is suddenly disturbed by the impact of fire hitting her armour, something hitting at her chest and head. Her eyes go wide but she doesn't utter a sound for a long moment, just sits there unable to even breathe for a long time. And then a vitriol of Italian comes gushing out of her as she just ducks back further, cringing behind cover only to peek out again, with the camera, as she just has to keep filming. So she's got focus on WAllace as he goes walking out like superman.

Melia is about to call Wallace back when she takes a bullet to the head which knocks her clear onher ass. "Oh fuck that can not be good." She says bring her hand up to head, her fingers come awau bleeding. "Oh not good at her." She blinks as the pain hits her, it doesn't stop her however bring her weapon upo and fire off one last shot before she has to call it. "MEDIC!"

The wounded Kilrathi sapper's pack of goodies detonates, leaving only a crater with a pinkish-red smear at the bottom where the pack's wearer used to be. Frangments from the explosion cut into two of his nearby Kitten friends as well. The exchange of bullets this time has more solid results on both sides.. two more Kilrathi falling to the ground stone dead, but more human blood flowing as well.

Ninja medic! Raine is going to scoot over towards Melia to stealth bandage the marine is best as she can. Although her eyes are wide at the sapper exploding. Somehow, she's glad she isn't a sapper. Or at least a sapper smart enough to wear explosion proof undies.

A pair of bullets whiz past Wallace, his mustache mojo continuing to protect, despite him being heedless of cover. He is usually less impulsive, really. That Kilrathi officer just -really- got his goat. The semi-automatic pistol is now held in both hands as he walks forward, a single round being released from the barrel, hopefully with the end result of splattered Kilrathi brains.

Hylanen fires off a shot, but still gets hit in return. Stumbling back a bit, he takes a while to steady himself. "Saatana perkele!" he calls out, before he moves to aim for a new enemy. Wincing a bit as he does.

Aquilina's rifle fire attracts that Kilrathi's bursts his way. One less on the civilian, but now there's a bigger problem with Melia. His fet scoot left and he trains the rifle on cover fire for Raine and the injured 2nd LT, aiming at the officer determined to take Melia down.

Wow. Look at Wallace go. That's just incredible footage, and Fresca is getting it all. Oblivious to the shots headed her way, at least until the sudden jerk, pow, sting in her left arm that has her shriek once more. Uhm, ow. Just … Her eyes widen as she looks down to see her own blood, just a minor wound, not too bad, but still, and her skin pales. The curses get nastier, though all still in Italian. And then, determination on her face, she films her own wound, such as it is, and then flashes that camera out again, panning it to get footage of Melia getting treated, Aquilina playing hero, Hylanen firing even after getting shot. Only then does she set the camera down, to see if she can perhaps do something with her own wound.

Brooks helps the injured Raine to move and notes Melia calling for help. Well Engineering foo's are only so good at treating head wounds. The man then looks over towards the cursing reporter. Sigh. Civilians. He takes off at another run, noting that he will need some BenGay later tonight, and crashes down beside her with a stolen bandage. "Hold still, ma'am," he calls over the automatic weapons fire, ripping the sleeve apart on her arm to get at the wound. The bandage is torn open with his teeth. Sanitation is out the window.

Melia smiles over at Raine. "Hey gal, I thought I saw you go down." She says coughing a little for dramatic affect. "Though I can see your still with us." She closes her eyes, then opens them again. "Wallace, your ass you still in one piece." She calls, hoping her XO is still on his feet even if she isn't. "What's the casualty report?" She asks, Raine.

The Kilrathi attack takes on a hint of desperation now… both explosives-carrying kittens dead, their officer bleeding heavily and entirely insensible. The three Kilrathi look to each other in confusion, as if trying to decide what to do in the absence of any direction. Lacking orders of any sort, they instead do what comes naturally. They charge in.

Hylanen fires off another shot, looking around a bit before he tries moving for a better position to fire, still attempting to take out the enemies.

And, just like that? Wallace hits the deck, pistol holstered as he finds what cover he can. Bottom line, his pistol just isn't going to cut it, against armored soldiers. Rifle comes back out, and he takes a few moment to slap a fresh magazine into the receiver. The incoming kitties are fresh on his list for killing soon, but first he's just got to get this rifle reloaded. "I'm five by five, ELTEE! Doc, you still breathing? Private?" He calls out to the people he actually knows.

"I'm okay, it just almost knocked me off my feet," Raine offers a smile and frowns at the cough. She bandages the woman's head. "Umm, at least 4 besides you are hurt, but so far only minor wounds." Also other than Melia. She looks around, "I think Wallace is still up, and the eyebrow guy, they seem to be unhurt." Most of them are dinged now. "I'm fine," She offers quietly although perhaps someone is about to finish unfinished business. She seems relieved another is here to help with first aid.

Fresca flashes a smile, her cussing cutting off now. "Grazie," she says to Brooks, since he's here trying to help. She appreciates that, really she does. "I think they do not know what it is, my camera." Not that it helps any, but there you go. Still now that her throbbing arm is bandaged, she gets the camera again, beginning to film once more.

Aquilina feels something zing against his armor as the officer finally goes down, a sharp sting that's far from knocking him off his feet. As the Kilrathi start charging, he trains the rifle on the most visible target and booms off a three-round burst. Hit something, come on.

Brooks just offers a grunt in recognition of Fresca's thanks. "Yeah, well. They probably don't like havin shit pointed at 'em. You know how it goes. Some peopel are just gunshy like that." She flashes that toothy grin again before moving for Hylanen.

They are going to cut us so bad we wish they no cut us so bad? Raine yelps and ducks behind cover as a shot goes pinging by. She isn't quite strong enough to pull Melia with her, alas. Raine does notice that Melia is hit, "Ma'am! Are you alright?" She's taking stock of injuries.

As the situation deteriorates further, the Kilrathi seem to arrive at the same decision independently… throwing their weapons to the ground, unsheathing their claws… screaming and leaping at one of the wounded terrans, and the naval technician attempting to treat him.

The flashing bursts from Aquilina's rifle take down the second of the charging infiltrators - freak shot, perhaps. But who's complaining? He's still closest to Brooks and its on the medic's attacker that he keeps his focus and the barrel of his rifle. "Jesus, you fuckers, give up!"

Wallace steps up from his makeshift cover, rifle reloaded, and ready to rock. Considering that the Kilrathi have charged past his forward position, the SarMaj tightens the rifle to this shoulder, and dumps half of his magazine toward the backs of the attacking feline foe. He does like to go full automatic, clearly.

Melia nods her head slowly at Raine and takes a deep breath. "Hey good work Doc, I feel better alrea…" she starts just before a bullet hits her again in the chest and knocks the wind out of her. She blinks and lays where she is for a second before scrambling for cover, her hand grabbing her weapon. "Wallace, why are they still alive?" She calls. "I thought the idea is for us to kill them, not for them to kill us." She grumbles taking a few deep breaths, now she can and goes to fire off another shot from on her ass.

Brooks manages to slap a bandage on Hylanen as the man continues fighting, working it in quickly. He looks up just in time to see the cats running at them with their knives drawn. "Holy shit!!" he barks and steps back, grabbing the KaBar off Hylanen's armor and bringing it up. He crouches into a modified fighting stance and gets ready to jump.. at the 8 foot feline with snarling teeth.

Of course now things are really getting nitty gritty, and Fresca is bound to film it all. She's inching forward to the point where she's not really behind cover any more, fingers on the camera. Got to get everything on film. Nobody back home would believe this. They wouldn't. And Lord help us, nobody better die. At least not anyone Fresca knows. She won't be happy if they do. Such a tragedy … would probably make an opening newsline.

"Vittun kissanpennun!" Hylanen mutters as he readies his weapon for another shot at one of the charging enemies. "Thanks," he offers to Brooks as the engineer attempts to treat the wound, frowning a bit. "It'll be fine," he mutters to Brooks once more.

Oh snap. Kitties about to eat eyebrow dude and/or Melia. Raine takes a deep breath, thanking the gods there's no marauding barns with broadsides attacking or she'd be doomed.

Thousands of years ago, on the plains of africa, scream and leap was a tactic much feared by the human race… the thought of a lion with claws extended, ready to rip flesh from bone struck a chord of terror in the human psyche.
Then man learned to build firearms, and the result became the lionskin rug.
Unfortuntely ignorant of this aspect of Terran history, the two Kilrathi charge in valiantly, and are butchered valiantly, crumpling to the ground in bloodied piles of fur before even reaching their prey.

Half-spent mag is dropped from his rifle, and Wallace begins the process of reloading. "Alright. Let's get the wounded back to the transports, people. I'll 'suggest' that the squiddie-in-charge posts a more proper picket." The bodies of the fallen Kilrathi? Ignored for the flotsam of battle that they've become. That's that, so far as he is concerned.

Hylanen fires off his shots at the charging Kilrathi, ducking back after the shots are fired. In time to see the kitty fall down. Turning to head back closer to the others, he mutters a bit to himself. Moving to reload his rifle while he stumbles backwards. Goals scored, game won.

Wounded to the - but but - she's not wounded, really. It's just a scratch. Though it might be worthwhile to check if her armour is still … battleworthy so to speak. Fresca however is now on her feet, her camera aimed at Wallace for a bit, and then over to Raine and Melia, Hylanen, Brooks and Aquilina. The whole crew, she gets them all, as they are busy (well, unless they duck/hide or tell her to stop or something.) "Is it just me or was that a little close for comfort?" she asks, as she wanders nearer.

Brooks is all ready for the incoming clawmarks. The machine gun fire manages to kill the attacking kitty before it hits the ground but the paw is already swinging. Brooks dodges out of the way and slices the Ka-Bar up across the neck of the cat as it falls, grazing the armor. Hitting the dust beneath him, he stares at the head of fur for a moment and clicks his teeth, offering the KaBar back to Hylanen. "Good shooting, son," he coughs, reaching for his pack of smokes and looking to Fresca. "It ain't close unless they touch you. You got a little too close." Yellowsmirk.

Aquilina doesn't usually have to see the bodies of the things he kills; they just kind of explode. But this is kind of gross. He sniffs a little at the bodies and pulls the rifle back over his shoulder once it's reloaded. The sting of the bullet that got past his armour's a little stronger now, becoming quite irritating indeed as he makes his way the couple steps back to the pile of medical that almost got clawed up. "Winterson. Fancy meeting you here."

A day late and a dollar short, help finally arrives just in time to stand and stare slack-jawed at the carnage. Lt. Commander Nucefora moves at the head of a column of civilians, armed with their recently acquired tools of war. He's quick to bark a couple orders, startling the fresly-minted warriors from their shock at the carnage in front of them… sending them off in small groups to repace their fallen predecessors.

Along the way, one stops where the Kilrathi officer is perhaps, possibly, still twitching… firing four times at point-blank range into his head. The action is met with supporting cheers from a few of his fellows. Clearly, these people are angry.

Melia is helped to her feet by two of the more solid built members of her platoon and lets out a deep sigh. "Wallace nice work." She says wondering over to the older marine. She then slings her gun and glances towards the others. "Private Aquilina nicely done, your still alive so I don't have to get chewed out by your CO." She says with a grin, the reporter is given a shake of her head. "Next time you'll stay where it's safe." She says then carries on, Brooks is given well a raised eyebrow, and nothing more.

Raine seems pleased the kitties are gone. Raine looks to Melia, "A little. Are you okay? How are you feeling?" She asks quietly. She seems relieved the casualties are ending for now, looking to Brooks. "Thank you for your help," She nods. She's shaking off the panick a little better now. She grins at Aquilina, "I know. Surprised to see you too," A headtilt. She blinsk as the twitching officer is shot. Well, can't blame 'em. "I may have to get that fellow his own medic kit though, if he's good at it."

"What, you don't have a private killboard back there for marine-on-pilot violence? Don't lie to me." Alex smirks at Melia, shoving his thumb into the rifle strap. The reporter gets an idle glance but then he's looking back at Raine. "Yeah, bizarre. Didn't recognise you without the tree, you know."

Brooks shakes out another cigarette and pops it into his mouth. The Zippo is out again, lighting the smoke, and gone again in an instant. He gives Raine a manly nod. "Yeah, no problem. Figured I could do something except sit around here and look as gorgeous as I do." The E2 lifts a hand to pat gently at his disheveled and cement-bit-spattered hair, moving over towards Aquilina, shifting out another smoke towards him. "You got red on you." The cigarette hanging from the pack is pointing at the wound.

Just wait until Fresca sees the mess her armour is … Ahem. At the moment though she frowns at Melia. Cause she thought she was safe, but … nuts. And bolts. She doesn't argue, not sure what to say to Melia that would make sense. Her brow furrows though. "Everyone is okay?" she asks, glancing around now to check on all the people she knows. At least with the cavalry, such as it is, having arrived, she can relax somewhat. The shooting of the dead cat has her flinch though, a nervous step taken away from the sound.

Melia snorts as she watches Wallace wonder off then rolls her eyes towards the Pilot. "I don't aint lying." She says with only the slightest smirk on her lips.. She then glances at the brass. "So nice of you to join us sir, I'm sure you was just tying your boot laces don't wanna trip and fall on your ass." She then waves back towards base. "Come on kids, I need a two hour bath and some pain killers, they nancy boy here clean up."

Aquilina glances down at th blood blooming under the edge of the vest. "Eh. Fuck. I'll get it looked at when we get ba…" He's been digging for cigarettes behind that vest while he talks, only to come up with the pack - that was right under where the bullet hit, the white pack bearing a hole through it. And blood. "Oh son of a bitch…" Eh. He pulls one out anyway, tattered as it is, and sticks it in his mouth as they start moving.

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