Patreon LogoYour support makes Blue Moon possible (Patreon)

Among the Stars [LilGunner & rskde]

rskde

Supporter
Supporter
Joined
Aug 2, 2015
Location
Heckin' Japan
Today marked the two-hundredth anniversary of the United Federation of Earth. It was normally a grand occasion back home, fireworks and cooking favorite foods, watching military parades and demonstrations on the Government's network while spending time with friends and family. But today was different for the Marines and Sailors aboard the UFS Semper Avanti, it was a solemn day to remember what they had left behind when they had joined with the Federation's military program, it was a day to remember what they were missing, and what they fought for.

The war against the Tarject Confederation had also not helped to lift spirits of the men and women onboard, considering their mission didn't involve going towards the frontlines in any sense. They were an exploration vessel, a massive carrier that had been outfitted with survey equipment along with enough firepower to successfully mount a Drop if need be, though that would be very rare. They had been told to be on standby, wait for further word from the Front, if they were needed then they would be called for.

Most of the time the Marine portion of the ship was kept at the ready, constantly drilling and preparing themselves at the indoor ranges that the massive ship offered them, or bullshitting on the Mess Deck with their various squads, talking about how badly they wanted to get to the front and kick some ass. The majority of the ship had never seen combat before, plenty of fresh faces and shaved heads among the Boots of the Corps, untested by the true fires of war that could mold them into potential heroes. No, most of these kids didn't understand what war was really like.

A last look at his armor and he let out a quiet sigh, setting the helmet back into the wall locker adjacent to his rack before looking to himself in the mirror.

Ryan really looked like shit.

It had already been a week since he last shaved the scruff that was growing on his face, not to mention he was one of the few Green side crewmates who had hair on his head, a sign that this was not his first deployment on a bucket of bolts like the Semper Avanti. Part of him had been hoping that he could stay in the civilian attire he had arrived to the ship in on his body, but he knew that it would only be a matter of time before his new squad would start looking for him. So he pulled off the jacket and jeans that he had arrived in with, stowing them in his locker with the rest of his belongings before pulling on his BDU's, electing to leave the blouse behind and keep the Boots and Utes on, kicking his locker shut on his way out of his small section.

"I was expecting Sergeant Tolsen to be here by now.. But it seems that-" The man burst into the briefing room, glancing around at all of the faces surrounding him, watching him with piqued interest that this boring brief hadn't managed to bring out of them. He stood tall at 6'2", a couple of scars dotting his face that suggested a close combat engagement with an animal or something worse, one of the scars going over one of his hazel-green eyes that flicked around the room to analyze who was sitting around him.

"Sorry I'm late." He slipped into the room and sat down in the first empty seat that he could find, leaning back against the hard 'cushion' that they had installed on it.. Was he completely surrounded by officers? When he had been given his mission he hadn't been told about exactly who he was going with.

"Anyway... My name is Lieutenant Commander Moore, I'll be the primary mission planner for this scientific endeavor." The bald man wearing shinies on his collar glanced around the room before his weary eyes settled on the Sergeant that had been late. "And you can all meet Sergeant Tolsen, your security squad leader." He motioned to the man who was lounging in the chair that he had plopped down in. "Give him a little time to adjust, he just got back from Jorlheim."

Just the name of that planet made his breath catch in his throat a bit, it had been a catastrophic defeat for the Federation, not like any Civilian would know anything about any of the defeats that their government faced, but Ryan knew.. He had seen it all first hand, he had earned a couple of scars there, and the opportunity to do this 'scientific' journey that the command seemed so happy about, far away enough from the front that he could recover from what he had seen.

"We'll be sending a science vessel to the planet Holoron IV, it's said to be in the Goldilocks zone in the Holoron system, so there should be plenty of opportunities for surveys and earning certifications.. God knows we need them." A couple of chuckles popped up around the room. "You will be going planetside with a small squad of Marines as your attachment, most of them have seen combat already so don't fear too much, they know what they're doing.." The Sergeant groaned quietly, having a feeling that this brief was going to drone on for a bit longer.
 
Last edited:

LilGunner

Nonsolis radios sediouis fulmina mitto.
Joined
Jul 16, 2017
Location
Michigan
It was supposed to be the pursuit of the unknown. Humans had finally managed to explored the depths of Earth's oceans before true space travel. Trips to local rocks had been fine an well but no human could hope to survive a flight even to the edges of the Milky Way solar system. Year and years of conflict slowed the progress. It should have been a day of celebration. The world united under one flag. Peace reigned, as much as it could on earth, and true progress could finally be made. Celebrations would no doubt be boisterous on the 200th anniversary of the UFE. For the crew of UFS Semper Avanti it would amount to little more than some slightly better than usual food and maybe a cake. There was work to be done.

The atmosphere on board was tense. Between the hot headed marines, the disgruntled sailors, and the contingent of scientists onboard there wasn't a great sense of community. Each group kept themselves to themselves. Exploration was the mission. The long war with the Tarject had hindered the push to explore. Money and resources dedicated more to the war effort. They had just barely made it into space exploration before encountering a hostile force. Of course the terms of the first contact were hazy. Plenty on earth believed it a useless war, typical of their kind. There had been protests en masse all while young men and women scurried to join the ranks of the UFE forces.

Lieutenant Evelynn Renaud hadn't been any different. Oh she had enlisted of course, went through basic training, spent some years enlisted. It didn't take long to apply for something a little bit better. Utilizing STEM advancement program the military paid her way through a PhD in Ecology, specializing in biogeochemistry. There was, after all, more to space than war with the other sentient habitants. Only four years commissioned and she landed orders to UFS Semper Avanti. It would be the largest, scientific exploration undertaking since humans had discovered how to travel at speeds through space. Mankind would spread its arm and seek to harness the wild, and truly last, frontier.

Lynn was cautiously optimistic. She'd been involved with the military long enough to know nothing was ever what it seemed. Still, who could turn down the chance to research entirely new and unexplored worlds? Find new places for mankind to settle. New anything really. It was exciting! Hence why she was easily fifteen minutes early with the briefing, notes and lectures ready. She slicked her dark brown hair back into a tight, strict bun and donned her uniform. Another bonus of being in the scientific ranks: the uniform was worlds comfier than even the regular officer uniform and far more than the coveralls or BDUs of the enlisted rank and file.

The others filtered in, LCDR Moore the second to arrive, followed by the rest of the team. Pilots for the scouting vehicles arrived. Everyone of them an officer. Five minutes before the CO and XO made their entrance. LT Renaud noted the irate scowl of the bald LCDR. He stood to get started with the brief, starting to lament on one person missing from the room. As if summoned by God himself the door burst open causing several to jump. Eyes jumped to the door way as the rather ragged looking Marine entered the compartment. Lynn's brows quirked up curiously, eyes darting between the scarfs, the unshaved face, and lack of blouse. LCDR Moore tried to apologize for the Marin who unceremoniously flopped himself into a chair with a blasé apology.

The hiss of whispers went about the room. Jorlheim. There wasn't a military member alive that didn't know of it. Lynn felt an uncomfortable squirm in her gut, a mixture of pity and shame. Hard on the heels was nerves. LCDR Moore was the head of the entire scientific department but she was head of her own division, a division of three whole people, and the first ones who's research was needed the most. To find out if the planet was truly habitable and what measures would need to be taken for habitation. The pilots got up to speak first, using the holovid to display the landing zones and drop points for vehicles and personnel. Lynn was next, taking a slow breath as she stood and put her slides up on the holovid.

"Good evening Captain, XO, I am Lieutenant Renaud, lead ecological surveyor," she said with a calm, steady, but somewhat quiet voice. "My team and I shall be responsible for finding out of the planet is capable of sustaining human life..." She went on to explain the necessary factors for humans to thrive on the planet, what they were looking for, how long it could reasonably take. There was a quiet scoffing sound at the mention it could be upwards of a month to be certain and this was just a basic study. It could be years before they could be reasonably certain of human safety on the planet. There was mention of potentially poisonous flora and dangerous fauna. "...of course I am sure our Sergeant and his team will be able to handle that." She wrapped up with a strict set of rules for engaging with their surroundings. Under no circumstance was anyone to remove their helmets until a proper survey of the atmosphere was concluded and past then nothing was to be handled with bare skin. Ever. Don't even ask.

Following LT Renaud were the other scientific divisional leads, echoing the same concepts of safety. Finally the 1st LT, who would be responsible for the set up of the initial research site, said his short piece before taking a seat. Nearly two hours passed before the brief was concluded.

"Saved rounds or alibis?" The Skipper asked. "Very well, I shall see you all in the loading bay at 0500 for final preps with a planned 0700 launch. Get some sleep."

"Attention on deck!" The XO called as he and the Captain rose to leave. Everyone hopped to their feet as the CO spoke a casual 'carry on' and everyone was dismissed.

The following morning the ship was buzzing with activity. Lynn, wearing her exploration suit, was no slouch with helping the preparations. She hauled a massive, heaving case across the room, struggling it towards the landing craft.
 
OP
rskde

rskde

Supporter
Supporter
Joined
Aug 2, 2015
Location
Heckin' Japan
While he seemed undisciplined and unruly, he was paying close attention to the brief that was occurring, his hazel eyes focused on the holograms that were continuing to appear on the table, and the rules of engagement that were set out for the team that he hadn’t even met yet. He would definitely get his introduction in before the end of the night, he had to instill discipline rather quickly to make sure that they would be ready for the real mission. It almost seemed like these scientists hadn’t been told why this mission had been cleared to go in the first place, Higher wanted a strategic base on Holoron, not some kumbaya science field trip.

He could feel himself rolling his eyes at the mention of the rules, if something attacked them on that planet or even looked at them funny he definitely intended to take it out, it didn’t matter to him if it was some rare subspecies of whatever endangered who gives a shit. He hadn’t been given an opportunity to give his own safety brief, but he would certainly be doing that when they got boots on the ground and even the slightest idea of what kinds of threats might be surface side. His eyes glazed over for a moment when the room seemed to go silent at the mention of Jorlheim, he didn’t want their pity or sympathy, none of the crew aboard Semper Avanti had seen what he had, he didn’t need anything from them.

When the call came for them to go attention on deck, he also stood with the rest of the room, standing at attention until told that he was dismissed, quickly slipping out of the room and briskly walking up the hallway. He had some preparation to do before the morning, there was time to sleep when he was dead or very happily retired. He walked into the berthing that his team was staying in, it was meant for crew that wouldn’t be permanently staying on ship so they had their own little space, a rare occasion on a ship like this one. He looked around at all of the Marines who were suddenly very interested in who had just walked into their living area, slipping out of their racks and approaching him.

All of them still had their hair, and they all seemed fairly experienced from what he could tell, he couldn’t spot a single Boot among them. “I’m happy to see that I have an actual team.” He earned a few chuckles from the seven men that stood around him. “I just got a brief from the brains of our operation down there, but all of you should already be aware of our real mission.” They all nodded their heads, they knew what would have to be done down on the surface. “Let me be clear, I would rather see seven Marines dead than any one of those eggheads we’re headed down with, their safety is your top priority.”

He stuffed his hands into his pockets and leaned back a bit. “All of you have seen combat in some way, but if you haven’t feel free to speak up and I’ll shave your head myself.” He glanced around, his suspicions confirmed, they had placed a hardened team on this operation. “So there should be absolutely no fucking reason any of those scientists end up dead or missing, you shoot anything that is a threat to Human life, I don’t care what the science team has to say, if it looks hostile you have the green light.” The team nodded again and he glanced around at their faces, maybe this wouldn’t be such a travesty after all.

“Dismissed.” He turned around and let them get back to it, there was no need for introductions, he was sure that they had all already looked at his docket to check out who he was. And if they hadn’t, they would certainly be doing it now that he was out of their living space. He made his way back to his quarters, the command had been nice enough to set him up with his own space, probably to try and give him some respite after what he had been through. Rest or no rest he didn’t care, they had given him a mission and he fully intended to see it through. He looked at himself in the mirror and put a good old fashioned razor to his face, shaving off the disheveled beard that had been growing and making sure that his face was clean shaven and presentable for the mission that would come the next morning. He glanced over at his equipment locker, his rifle and armor set up perfectly inside of it.

Despite all of their technological advances, the weapons that they used were still kinetic in nature, firing depleted uranium tipped bullets at supersonic speeds in weapons that held about thirty rounds or so, when generations of the past thought of future weaponry they assumed lasers and beams that would melt someone on impact. But yet they still used good old fashioned ballistics, just ammunition that was far better at piercing titanium armor than the ammunition of days past.

When he was finished shaving and looking over his weaponry, he crawled into his rack to get some sleep for the night, knowing that they would need to be well rested for the mission. He woke an hour early and gathered his things in a rucksack, he really didn’t have too many possessions to his name after all. He got himself dressed in his undersuit and then put his armor on over it, checking to make sure his helmet sealed into his chest rig so that he would have breathable air while on the surface before performing a general systems check, his HUD turning on and showing him his surroundings.

With a nod he put his pack on his back and grabbed his rifle, not even bothering to close the now empty locker before he went out of his quarters to walk to the hangar. He had left some clothing and his seabag behind in his coffin locker, but he didn’t even know if they would let him return to that room when he came back.. worst case scenario he would come back to the ship and have to clear his shit out for some stuck up boot officer who wanted their own room. He made his way to the hangar, his eyes settling on one of the scientists struggling with a large case before he walked over, his metal armored boots echoing against the floor as he reached down and took the case from her. “You shouldn’t strain yourself before the mission, ma’am.” He laughed while starting to pull it towards the landing craft with ease, his larger frame more prepared to haul heavy cargo.

He had his visor polarized so that he wouldn’t be blinded when they got down to the surface, but the armor he wore read ‘Tolsen’ over his right breastplate, a red stripe down the center of his helmet to indicate his position in the squad as its leader. He got her large case to the craft and passed it off to the crew before motioning for her to get on first, that laidback attitude that he had displayed the day prior seemed to be gone.
 

LilGunner

Nonsolis radios sediouis fulmina mitto.
Joined
Jul 16, 2017
Location
Michigan
Lynn heard the metallic clomp of boots approaching. Her head lifted at the Sergeant approached and reached for her case. For a moment her hand clenched around the handle. "I got..." she stared but drifted off as he easily hefted the case. Just a moment of annoyance was followed by a sheepish grin. "Alright, alright. Thanks..." she paused, glancing at his name emblazoned on the breast plate and red stripe on his helmet. "...Sergeant," she said as he hauled her case with ease. At least with his smoother carrying of the case she wouldn't have to worry about her instruments getting broken. Standing fully upright the top of her head barely came up to the marine's collar bone. She followed behind, putting her helmet on and securing it.

His gesture for her to go in first was met with a sharp nod and she pulled herself into the transport. Everyone would be cram jammed inside. The scientists were easy to recognize with their white suits, the marines with their armor, and the small count of sailors in blue suits. The last of the gear was stowed and secured, engines were checked and finally the doors were shut and secured.

They were off. With no windows they wouldn't be granted sight of their approach. While the sailors reclined, simply waiting for them to land, the scientists checked their gear. Their suits were outfitted with HUD in their helmets, sensors and scanners in the gloves, and little kits of tools for the collection of samples. They methodically went through system checks and did inventory of their kits. It was difficult to not be excited. Earth had, for the most part, been explored to near death. To be on a virgin planet, to be the one to research and learn of it, was a dream come true for the gaggle of nerds.

The flight wasn't long, less than an hour. The landing was smooth and calm. The engines powered down and the door unlocked. "Final life support systems tests," the voice of the pilot came over the coms. Checks were made, all systems reported green. The doors opened to allow the marines out first. No point in having them if they didn't check the surroundings first, even if the pilots could see.

The world was remarkably like earth. They had landed in a large field with knee high grass of some variety. Not a mile away stood a thick forest, sharply rising to a mountain. Possibly snow capped but that would be determined later. Though similar to tall grass on earth the blades were fatter, the trees short and dumpy, their leaves strangely long and slender. The strangest were the colors. So close to the green of grass and leave but deeper. As though someone had messed with all their HUDs to saturate the colors more. The sky was deeper blue than on earth, puffy clouds above more creamy eggshell than white. If there had been any fauna nearby it had been scared off by the landing craft. It was clear.

Once deemed safe a flurry of activity launched. Gear was unpacked and the sailors got to work building temporary shelter. Igloo-like structures of a think aluminum foil-like material, incredibly hardy but flexible. With airlock entry points the interior could be completely sealed off and breathable air pumped into the shelters. More would come to the planet and other structures erected once it was determined they could breathe on the planet. The pull of gravity was minutely stronger than earth, barely noticeable until one was lifting something heavy.

Lynn stood a moment and surveyed the surrounding land. It was beautiful, it was empty. Untouched. An electrified, yet peaceful, sensation washed over her. She had to imagine this was what ancient explorers felt when arriving in new lands. After a long, slow breath she nodded to herself. "Alright, ecology team, let's get to work." While the scientists were dying to go out and take samples there was a great deal of setup to get going. Not to mention the decisions of security were up to Sergeant Tolsen. How expeditions would be conducted, how many in teams, how far they could go initially, and so on. The first day would be about set up, ensuring all systems in the shelters were functioning, the small galley and mess were set as well as very confined sleeping areas. If they thought racks in a berthing were small and cramped it was nothing compared to the shelters.

The sun was setting by the time the shelters were set, checked, and double checked. Simple food was prepped and the entire team crammed into the mess hall to eat and do yet another brief. More of the same information on safety, touching nothing with bare skin, and not leaving the shelter without a suit on. Zero exceptions.
 
OP
rskde

rskde

Supporter
Supporter
Joined
Aug 2, 2015
Location
Heckin' Japan
Maybe the Sergeant and his team were used to hot drops, but they had already taken several precautions by the time they were seated, strapping themselves in and immediately familiarizing themselves with the interior of the ship in case it were to go down. Old habits tended to die hard, but at least the Marines would be prepared in case an emergency did actually occur. The Sergeant thought to himself about the scientist that he had helped, chuckling quietly to himself while closing his eyes to wait for the ride to be over, never really having had the patience to stay awake during an entire flight. While he enjoyed being careful on the craft and knowing how to get out if he needed to, he was also at peace with the fact that if anything major did happen to them, there wouldn't be much he would be able to do to stop his body from succumbing to the cold vacuum of space.

The Marines were used to atmosphere pods anyway, gravity based entry pods that allowed them to crash to the surface of the planet like a meteor, it halved the time to entry and allowed for fast QRF on the ground if a redeployment was needed. They also used troop transports for more organized invasions that were much smaller and faster than the large survey ship they sat inside of.

Once they landed, the Marines jumped up from their seats and quickly filed out, fanning out around the ship with their weapons raised and their eyes open. It was hammered into their minds that they needed to be ready for anything at all times, immediately performing scans of the area and treating the landing zone as if it were hostile and they had just landed in enemy territory. Once it was deemed clear, Sergeant Tolsen gave the green for the scientists to come off of the ship and start their setup process. The Marines were divided among the teams evenly, no more than two per team with a minimum of one to safeguard the scientists as they began their initial scans of the planet.

The Sergeant found himself walking with the ecology team, who seemed pretty excited to just dive into the forests of the planet to take samples and look at the scenery of the planet, meanwhile Ryan had his eyes around them to make sure that nothing would sneak up on them and try to kill them. It was a brand new planet, who knew how many threats could be prowling around waiting for a bunch of tasty, unprepared scientists to be walking around like damn tourists?

"Careful." He warned through his helmet's speaker, one of the scientists had wandered a few feet from the group. "Stick together or die, I'd prefer the first option." He motioned for the team member to group back up with everyone, the man quickly nodding and making his way back over to the rest of them. While it would be more difficult for them to spread out and survey their surroundings, it would make protecting them a lot easier, he could keep tabs on all of them and make sure they were doing the right thing. He didn't have time to look around and enjoy the view, he just wanted to ensure that this little expedition wouldn't end before it had really even started.

They had returned to the camp before nightfall, a soft groan leaving a few of the Marines that saw the living conditions that were even tighter than the ship's, maybe once they got legitimate shelters in place they would be able to spread out a little bit more. Each Marine stayed with their team members in their assigned berthing, there wasn't really space to be complaining about separating genders or keeping the security teams separate from the science teams, everyone just had to accept the fact that there really wasn't space for.. anything really.

He had grabbed a tray of food at the mess hall, it looked even worse than the mess hall food from back on the Semper Avanti, and had seated himself down at one of the tables in the corner, his helmet off but the rest of his armor remaining on, his eyes focused on his food rather than on the briefing that was being given on proper conduct while outside of the shelters they now sat in.
 

LilGunner

Nonsolis radios sediouis fulmina mitto.
Joined
Jul 16, 2017
Location
Michigan
It was a reiteration of the previous brief, attended by the leaders of the expedition. Now it was a brief for all involved. While exploration could be a dangerous profession there was no need to take unnecessary risks. Obviously no one was to leave the camp without escort. Distances would be determined the more that was learned about the planet. For the time being the primary assessment would be if humans could even survive without their suits. No sense on colonizing a planet that suits were required to be outside. Once that determination was made then they would look into larger, more permanent structures for lab and living space. That would, of course, take some time to establish so for now everyone would have to deal with the confined spaces.

After the reminder safety brief LT Renaud grabbed a tray and a bit of chow. Definitely worse fare. Still, what was bad food compared to such discovery? She could accept some discomforts if it was in the pursuit of science. Certainly she'd rather sleep in cramped, co-ed, berthings and eat subpar food rather than so another dissertation. She moved to go sit with her team to discuss their findings but hesitated. Hazel eyes fell on their head of security, seated by himself. Despite two briefings he had yet been invited to speak about security plans and conduct. It seemed it was just assume the marines, attached to their group of scientists, would simply act as sheep dogs for the wayward and overly excited flock. With a little nod to herself she went to the flimsy table where he sat. The tables might give any moment, especially the ones with a few occupants.

"May I join you?" She asked politely but the question was simply rhetorical etiquette. Lynn helped herself to a chair across the the Sergeant, placing her helmet under the chair. "You have not given any sort of security brief," she observed as she dumped a rather unhealthy amount of salt on the bland food. "I think, perhaps, it is something we should discuss. How exploration should be conducted. I would rather not see tensions run high as my teams try to gather data while being shepherded around by your marines. So instead of the entire team being released at once I plan to rotate them between field and lab, that way there are less for your marines to keep an eye on. What do you think Sergeant?"
 
OP
rskde

rskde

Supporter
Supporter
Joined
Aug 2, 2015
Location
Heckin' Japan
He didn’t really bother paying attention to the brief that was being given, he had already proven his steel in battle, nothing on this planet was going to be taking his life. And if something out here did manage to get him good, then at least it would be a good death at the end. Being afraid of death made service to the Federation hard, it made one conscious of their impending doom and force them to hesitate when it comes down to battle, which inadvertently gets them killed anyway, Ryan just kept the attitude that his death was out of his control, and he would take as many down with him as he could. He picked at the food that was in front of him, honestly some days it felt better to just chew some gum and let his body think it was being fed rather than eat the shit that the Mess deck produced.

His eyes flicked to the Lieutenant as she walked over and asked if he minded her presence. “Sure thing.” He motioned to the seat that she was intending to set in, continuing to sink his fork into the slop on his tray. He glanced up at her when she started talking, letting out a tiny scoff as his lips pulled into half a smile, giving her a nod before shrugging his shoulders. “None of my men are green, ma’am.” He said while setting his silverware down on the tray and looking to her with his hazel eyes. “They know what they’re doing, they’ll keep you alive and well.” He explained, leaning back in his seat a bit and pulling some gum from an ammo pouch and chewing it.

“Plus, let’s be realistic here.” He leaned forward again. “You, me, Higher? Nobody knows what sort of threats this planet has to offer, for all we know the most dangerous thing on this planet could be your ‘fauna’ that stops us from taking our helmets off.” He laughed. “My entire brief would consist of listen to the Marines assigned to your squad and you’ll live, don’t wander alone.’ And that would be that.” It seemed like a waste of time for him, everyone should have already been aware of the basic rules out here, to reiterate the basics in a brief would probably just be an insult to the intelligence of the various officers around the room. “I understand that dividing and conquering is smart for exploration, but one of these days your guys are gonna wander around the wrong tree and get snatched by some apex predator that we don’t know about, so until we have a gauge on what exactly is out there, let’s keep the exploration in herds.” His face remained neutral but his words were quite affirmative.
 

LilGunner

Nonsolis radios sediouis fulmina mitto.
Joined
Jul 16, 2017
Location
Michigan
His reassurance wasn't really needed. It wasn't that she didn't trust the marines to do their jobs. Her lips pressed together as he spoke, clearly she had not explained herself well enough. So much for trying to be tactful about everything. Though she listened politely as he went on, speaking the potential dangers. Her brows quirked with the mention of the dangerous fauna that would stop them from removing their helmets. She gave a short, snorting laugh along with him though she wondered if they laughed about the same thing. Likely not. He certainly wasn't finished, speaking of possible apex predators lurking around trees and the like. Of course she knew of his record, more or less. At least that he had served on Jorlheim. Might explain his blasé attitude. She let him finish up, picking at her gloopy meal. It wasn't much but food was fuel after all.

"Forgive me Sergeant but I think you misunderstand me," she finally replied as she scooped up another glop of the nutrition paste. "Whatever you might think of my team they are not a herd of sheep to wander blindly into dangerous situations. Most of them are not exactly the....military type but they were not chosen simply for their brains. They have been in some of the harshest, most dangerous environments on earth for field studies and research. The know the possible risks in such an unknown place. This is just my team as well, there are others with their fields of study and more to come once the initial teams have concluded the potential of this planet. I am not sure you quite grasp our mission on this planet and if you care to take the time to understand it I would be happy to explain." Though she would bet dollars to doughnuts he couldn't be bothered to understand the forward team's mission, even if she used small words.

"Let me be plain and clear Sergeant. My team will not do anything to put themselves, your marines, or the mission at jeopardy. I expect you to explain to your team that they are here as guards, not a shepherds. The first few days here are the most crucial and my team doesn't need to go far. Since we will not be trekking through the forests or up the mountain I expect your marines will stay out of the way and not try to push and guide my team at every step. I only offered to split lab and field time in a effort to ease the burden on your marines so rather than joke about turning a tree and getting eaten by a predator perhaps you might consider the benefits of having less people to protect all at once and allowing your marines a little extra time to relax." She paused and glanced around the cramped mess hall. "Not that this is a space for rest and relaxation. Still it is better than patrol and guard duties from sun up to sun down, right? Of course what you have them do is entirely up to you but my team will be working in shifts." Never mind the benefit of having constant analytics being performed in the lab rather than gathering and stay up all night to run tests. It was as much benefit for his people as her own.

"Are we clear Sergeant?" She had tried a more diplomatic approach but had to make it quite clear that, while their safety was his job, it was still her team and she outranked him. The other teams of scientists could do as they pleased. Let the marines herd them around like some wayward flock if they so chose. Her team would be the ones deciding if it was even worth studying the planet for more than a few days.
 
OP
rskde

rskde

Supporter
Supporter
Joined
Aug 2, 2015
Location
Heckin' Japan
He leaned back in his seat while she started her own part of the conversation, he cared very little about what she had to say, and honestly officer or not he had thought he had already shown that he didn't really give a shit. But he decided to listen anyway, maybe there was some inkling of experience that she had that would form a half decent counterpoint to what he had already said, though when she starts talking about managing morale he raised his eyebrows. Marines and morale didn't really go together, they just did their jobs and hit the rack whenever they had time to do so, it was in their blood and in their training and had been endowed within all of them that they would just do their job until they died or retired, and most of the time it was a no questions asked sort of deal. Everyone just understood that their place in the universe was to ensure that the Federation would continue to win its battles.

"We're actually not." He said when she asked if they were clear. "You've got the collar but I've got the experience, when we're talking about security matters I outrank you." His eyes narrowed a bit. "I don't have a PHD, I never went to college because the Federation never bothered to send me, but I have enough experience to tell me that my gut feeling about this place is not like yours." He shook his head before running a hand through his hair. "All of you scientists from what I've already seen are excitable, childish, and generally safety hazards no matter what sort of experience you claim to have on Earth, let me be clear, this ain't Earth... On Earth you could go volcano diving and survive, and know for a fact that you have every piece of equipment required for your survival while inside of that volcano, or be at the bottom of the ocean and expect that maybe you'll run into a giant squid that wants some humans for breakfast, and have the equipment to get away from that thing." He waved his hand a little as he spoke.

"But here? For all you and your eggheads know, there's a damn lion-tiger out there with bulletproof hide just waiting for the right motherfucker to wander away from the group, and as far as I can tell, we haven't even scratched the surface of what this planet is capable of." He looked to her and pushed his tray away before rolling his shoulders back. "You want your brief? Here it is, until we figure out what this ECOSYSTEM is capable of, I don't want any of you just wandering around, this mission isn't on a time constraint as far as I'm tracking, and if that means that you take a day or two longer to scratch a tree and see if it produces sap, then so be it." He stood from his seat and grabbed his helmet from the seat next to him. "And don't worry, I'll pass this on to the rest of my guys too while I'm at it, and if I catch a single one of you wandering FEET away from the group, I'll make sure they're stuck on 'lab duty' for the rest of their damn tour on Holoron." He raised his eyebrows one last time, looking down at the female scientist sitting across from him.

"Are we clear, Ma'am?" He asked before turning and walking away, leaving the tray of his food on the table and wandering back to the berthing area so that he could blow off some steam. While he understood that rank structure mattered, nothing pissed him off more than an officer trying to step in his shit, he had the experience and knowledge to keep them safe out there, he didn't need someone to negotiate with him on how to do his job.
 

LilGunner

Nonsolis radios sediouis fulmina mitto.
Joined
Jul 16, 2017
Location
Michigan
To say the conversation was not going well was a catastrophic understatement. She honestly hadn't expected the degree of push back she received from the Sergeant. It was no mere matter of the audacity of him to stake claims of rank. Her intent had been to work out plans that would benefit all. Instead she got some angry, self-important, grunt flexing his supposed positional authority based on his obvious lack of knowledge of scientific method. Her lips turned to a thin, harsh, pink line they pursed so hard. He made it very clear he had zero respect for her team and their mission on the planet. She should have known better than to try and discuss the matter like a reasonable adult. Having given up on the pretense of casual conversation over a meal her fork trembled with the white knuckled grip she had on it.

Lynn's eyes followed as he stood, clearly used to using his height for intimidation. She wasn't cowed by the size of him. Despite the grip on the fork and the near disappearance of her lips her expression remained utterly neutral. The woman's poker face was on point, the icy glint in her eyes the only indicator of her furious annoyance with the upstart Sergeant. His promise of shoving anyone on her team on permanent lab duty broke the illusion of calm and she was on her feet as well; hardly imposing with her standing at a whopping five feet and one inch. Her mouth opened with a sharp breath to counter. No we are not clear. Instead the man just turned and simply walked away from her. Lynn froze up from the shock. Just walked away. He was gone before her brain jumpstarted again and she could move. It was that moment she realized the entire mess had gone quiet. Lynn cringed and glanced over her shoulder, meeting fifteen sets of eyes that quickly turned back to their gloopy meals. With a long sigh she grabbed her tray and Tolsen's. On top of being rude, insubordinate, and obstinate he clearly travelled with his mommy who always cleaned up after him.

There was still set up to finish so Lynn headed to the small, makeshift lab, to get started. The more prepared they were to start the quicker things would go. All the while she pondered the conversation with the Sergeant, her mind raging between trying to see things his way and fury over this E-5 asshole thinking he was God's gift to the federation! One or two beakers might have suffered her wrath. It was well into the night that she finished up and wriggled into the cramped berthing for some sleep.

Typical in the military culture the morning came fast and early. Reveille sounded at 05. Lynn and her team were up in hurry to grab a quick breakfast and head out. With the hurried shoveling of food they rushed to the lab for a morning safety brief. 50% of military life was briefs after all. The marines assigned to her team would be present as well. Lynn's team consisted of one Lieutenant Junior Grade and two Ensigns as well as herself. "Today our primary objective is collecting soil and atmospheric samples. We will be running a full chemical analysis to get an idea of the density and presence of certain helpful and harmful chemicals on this planet. Our first goal is to find out if the air quality is at the right levels to support human life. The sooner this is determined the easier future research will be. Initial scans have shown it is possible but our job is to prove it...and not just by taking off our helmets and hoping for the best. This morning Ensign Jones will come with me to gather samples. JG Schaaf and Ensign Mayo will finish lab set up and prep the tests. We will convene at 1200 in the lab at which point Jones and I will begin running tests while Mayo and Schaaf go out to gather more samples."

Tolsen could do what he wanted with security but she would run her team as she saw fit. Staying in the lab at camp was certainly safer than wandering the field. LT Renaud and ENS Jones packed small bags to carry back their samples, did another check of their gear and suit systems then it was time to head off. They didn't even need to go far from camp. Far enough to ensure their samples were clean, free of being tromped on by boots or having any residue from their arrival on Holoron.

"A shame we couldn't bring a rat or two," Jones commented as he poked and prodded at a device in his hand, a machine designed to intake the surrounding air and give readings of elements in the air and their densities. "Just put them outside and see if they survive."

"Yeah because introducing new species to a biome has always worked out well," Lynn replied with a small laugh.
 
OP
rskde

rskde

Supporter
Supporter
Joined
Aug 2, 2015
Location
Heckin' Japan
The Sergeant had gotten some rack time pretty early, he wasn't feeling the best with not being able to smoke to calm his nerves, but he was sure that eventually they would figure out a solution for that. He knew that one of the first priorities in establishing this place as a proper Colony would be to figure out if the air was breathable, and he knew they would start conducting those tests soon, just had to wait it out. His separation from the drug that kept him calm had him staring up at the ceiling of his rack all night, though if one looked at him it wouldn't be obvious that he hadn't even slept a minute, he managed to keep quite the facade going each and every day. A quiet breath leaves him as he listens to the steadying breathing of the scientists around him, knowing that he would be the only Marine going with the ecology team.. He probably shouldn't have tried to piss off their section head.

The morning came slow, but not even a lack of cigarettes could halt the progress of time completely. He rolled out of his rack and changed into fresh skivvies before pulling his uniform on, quickly putting on his armor along with his helmet and strapping his rifle across his body so that he would be ready to go, a quick systems check revealing that everything was just as he had left it, in perfect condition as always. He wished that he could take another Marine with him, but with only four scientists in the group it wouldn't be justified or even necessary, he would just have to face the Lieutenant on his own. Maybe it would help to be the bigger man, he was disgruntled by the Officer attitude that she seemed to bear, but keeping friction between them would only result in suffering for both of them, and their team that might end up caught in the crossfire. He didn't need their situation to be compromised anymore than it already was, he set himself to make peace with her before the day ended.

He was quickly told about the brief after he had eaten chow, and made his way there so that he could get the brief for what was going down. The other Marines on base were already departing with their assigned groups, maybe one of these days they would be sent a few more guards to help alleviate the pressure, but for now they were spread pretty thin, two Marines assigned to a group of five or more scientists while only one assigned to four or fewer. He sat in the lab and listened to the brief that the Ensign had prepared for them.

Standing in the corner, leaning against the wall he listened to what she had to say about their objectives for the day, his eyes focused on her so that he could listen for what he would be doing. She glossed over security, not that he really minded considering it was still his show, but she seemed to suggest that only two scientists would be out of the habitat at a time, and honestly that just made his life so much easier, he could even probably let them roam a bit away from him as long as they were careful. As the teams broke off and started discussing, he made his way over to the two that would go to collect samples first, his polarized visor not showing his eyes or face but he still looked to Lynn. "Mind if we talk for a second?" He asked before taking a few steps away to the corner of the lap where they could have relative 'privacy'.

He took his helmet off and looked to her, biting the inside of his cheek before reaching up to rub the back of his head. "I said some stupid shit yesterday." He started, his eyes averting from hers momentarily before he looked to her again, trying to steel his resolve so that he could successfully apologize.

"I apologize for my unprofessional, behavior.. I realize you were just trying to help." He explained. "I've seen some pretty upsetting things, and my career is kinda depending on the success of this mission.. Can we just start over?" He asked quietly, meeting her eyes with his Hazel ones. "We're going to be working together a lot, and I just wanted to clear the air a little bit."
 
Last edited:

LilGunner

Nonsolis radios sediouis fulmina mitto.
Joined
Jul 16, 2017
Location
Michigan
Lynn was just about ready to exit the lab with Jones, who had finished calibrating his hand held device, when she felt and saw that large presence approach. Her body stiffened, her head turn just a little to indicate she might be looking at him. It was really had to tell with the polarized helmets. She fully expected him to bitch about her still deciding to break up the teams and was prepared to argue with him if need be. The jerk of her helmet was the only indicator for him of her surprise. Ready for a fight she certainly did not expect a calm request to talk privately. She was quiet for a moment before give a small, sharp nod. "Sure," she said. "Wait here," she said to Jones before following SGT Tolsen to the corner of lab. The other officers made a good show of looking busy but were intently listening.

She watched as he removed his helm and started speaking. The awkward rub of the back of his head, the eyes cast aside, it was abundantly clear he saw the error of his ways. Lynn let him go on with a full apology and a request to start their professional relationship over. He wouldn't be able to see her gentle but amused grin. Not until she finally reached up and removed her own helmet. Her eyes glinted without malice as she looked up at the tall marine.

"Don't worry about it Sergeant," she said. "I appreciate and accept your apology. While I can't fathom the shit you've seen...I can appreciate how they would be hard to handle. Don't worry, I won't let you fail," she said with a brighter grin and a wink. "You might be head of security here, putting you positionally a step above me...but my job doesn't end with data and research or with positional authority protocol." Lynn reached out and put a hand on his arm, gentle but firm though he likely wouldn't feel much given the armor. "Leadership is about taking care of people, not just bossing them around. If more supposed leaders understood that we'd have a lot fewer disgruntled marines and sailors." With a light laugh she patted his arm before pulled her helmet on once more. "Let's go do some science."

LT Renaud led Jones and Tolsen out to the field. The new day was hardly different than when they had first landed. The colors were still in that oversaturated hue, there were more clouds in the sky that day but still light and fluffy. It was a strange place, so similar to earth but the changes were minor it felt like some odd dream to be out there. Lynn led them a good twenty feet from camp.

"We need to ensure our samples are pure. No boots, no engine residues," she explained for Tolsen's sake. ENS Jones had his face buried in the little computer in his hand, tapping away at the readings.

"So far so good with the readings, Lieutenant," Jones said. "Almost exactly at the same levels and saturations on earth."

"Good. Let's gather some grass and soil samples here," she said as she came to a halt. They were barely fifty feet from the camp but it would be far enough to ensure the samples would be untainted. "Why don't you take some pictures Jones? I'll grab the samples."

Jones nodded and began looking around. The tech in the helmets had full use of camera and audio. It might look odd, the Ensign just standing there and looking around, but he was snapping images all the while. Meanwhile Lynn dropped to her knees and scrabbled in the grass. First a couple clippings which were stored in one bag, then the entire length of some grasses down to the roots. Next she cut away the grass and dug down for soils. The tiny shovel gave a little shriek as it skidded on a rock. "Huh..." she muttered to herself and dug out the rock. "Oh wow....Jones look at this!"

Christmas erupted. The rock she held was, well, a rock. Greyish in color, once the red soil was dusted off, yet also just a little blue and a little green. The pair babbled excitedly about what compounds must have made the rock such a color. Lynn didn't want to leave Tolsen out of it but she didn't imagine he would be nearly as thrilled about it. "Rocks can tell us a lot about a place. It's history, its life, so to speak. Just from this we can get an idea of what this world is made of...well...the compositions of materials anyways."

The oh-so-exciting rock was stored away in it's own little bag and a vial of dirt was collected. Lynn got back to her feet, dusting off her gloves. A step to the side rustled the grass and something shot out from cover. The hum of thin wings wizzed by her and landed with a hard thunk, front and center on Tolsen's helmet. The bug was the size of a bumble bee, fat and heavy, but a dark emerald green color and long legs more like a grasshopper. Both scientists froze. The first sight of fauna! Though both were utterly terrified the marine might swat at and smash it.

"Sergeant...don't move," Lynn whispered as if worried she might frighten the bug away.
 
OP
rskde

rskde

Supporter
Supporter
Joined
Aug 2, 2015
Location
Heckin' Japan
Tolsen didn’t really enjoy apologies, generally being social wasn’t his thing but admitting that he was wrong about something? That was hard. He could feel the eyes of the other scientists on them, even if they wanted to get some form of ‘privacy’ to talk their issues over there would always be another set of ears listening for what they had to say. But he wanted her to know that he didn’t intend of making their professional relationship a hassle, that he was sorry for the way he had talked to her the day before when she had only been trying to make suggestions on how to make his life easier. When he saw her take her helmet off his face softened a bit and he nodded, setting his hands in front of him as he held his helmet in front of his body, still ready to go at a moments notice.

He nodded when she told him that she accepted his apology, at least they had cleared the air before going back out on a potentially dangerous survey trip. He nodded again to her words, watching her put her helmet back on before he did the same, while he wouldn’t be going out in the field to do science like them, he would be at least witnessing their scientific discoveries.. not that he really cared about that sort of thing.

They walked out of the base and he kept his hands on his rifle, his HUD starting a scan for potential hazards while they around in the tall grass of the plains they had initially landed in, a small sigh leaving him as his scans came up empty, though that just meant that no conventional threats were around them.. his helmet hadn’t exactly been programmed for the unknown out here. They seemed so excited to walk around and look at grass, so distracted by their computers and digging up samples to be worried about anything that might be sneaking up on them, though they had Tolsen to keep an eye out for things like that.

His head snapped over when Lynn asked for the Ensign to go look at something, maybe it was something actually interesting..?

A rock.

He groaned and went back to looking around their perimeter, listening to their comm chatter about how it was important to see rocks on the planet and whatnot, his eyes locking on to the edge of the forest near their little plains area, if there was any sort of threat it would certainly be coming from that direction.

They continued to collect their samples when suddenly something landed on his visor, his eyes focusing on the underbelly of some form of bug, both scientists staring at him and Lynn telling him not to move. “You know, this thing could be dumping acid on my visor for all you know, and you still don’t want me to move.” He said rather calmly, not moving until his HUD blinked. “Threat identified.” A calm female voice said in his ear, his eyes glancing over to something prowling towards them in the tall grass.

“Shit!” He moved, the bug flying away quickly as he raised his rifle towards the beast that had been stalking them for God knows how long. It growled and moved out of the tall grass, it’s growl reverberating through its throat as it stared directly at Tolsen, whatever this thing was it seemed to understand that he was far more of a threat than the two holding computers and samples of the planet surface. His HUD hadn’t been able to pick up this thing until it was close.. which could really on mean one thing.

There had to be more. He turned his head and retreated a bit towards the two scientists, and that was when they made their move. The one he had initially seen lunged towards the small group, a quick burst to the head sent it sliding across the ground before its friends could join the party, coming out of the tall grass to lunge towards Lynn. Ryan grabbed her and pushed her out of the way, practically taking her place as the beast slashed a nice long cut across his armor and undersuit, a spray of oxygen leaving his system from its razor sharp claws before he was able to throw it off of him and put it down, his eyes looking around wildly as his weapon moved with them, the other creatures in the small pack running away from the weaponry that had just put down two of its fighters.

“Everyone okay?” He asked, taking a breath and not feeling the staleness of oxygen from his tank, but from the atmosphere around him.
 
Last edited:

LilGunner

Nonsolis radios sediouis fulmina mitto.
Joined
Jul 16, 2017
Location
Michigan
Tolsen's response brought a small scoff rumbling in Renaud's throat, though followed by a quiet laugh. If it were secreting acid he would be able to see it with the bug square of his face. Then again she could hardly blame the Marine for the worry. It was an unknown planet after all and his lack of appreciation for science was blatant. She opened her mouth to tell him to stay put and she'd get the bug but her mouth snapped shut with his sudden shout and movements. A ripple of adrenaline raced through Lynn and her head whipped around to where he raised his rifle. Her suit, and Jones's, did not have the same programming. There was no odd, soothing voice to warn them of encroaching danger.

Hazel eyes landed on the creature that stalked out of the tall grasses. Both officers froze, transfixed by the approach of the predator. It had eyes only for Tolsen. Now that would be something to get samples from. The pair held still as the beast crouched low, staring down Tolsen. Lynn glanced to the Marine as he edged towards them protectively. While her actual combat experience was a fat zero she felt utterly naked and useless without some sort of weapon all of a sudden. Lynn gripped the small spade she had in hand. Not much of a weapon but if the worst should happen she wasn't about to go down without some kind of fight. Hell of a fight that would be, a trowel against razor claws and pointed teeth. The beast took it's chance and lunged, both scientists sucked in sharp breaths. It was over in a second, the creature falling and skidding across the ground.

A second lunged, making a try for the easier targets. Lynn tensed but was shoved back and out of the way. She staggered back wards, caught from falling by Jones. "Sergeant!" both officers shouted in fear and concern for their guardian. They could only watch as the razor claws ripped right through armor, both seeing and hearing the hiss of oxygen leaving his suit. They wrestled for less than a minute, a minute that took ages, before throwing the beast and shooting it down as well. With two of the group dead the others turned tail and fled, the only obvious sign of the size of the group was the grass as it swayed and parted in their flight.

"Yeah we're fine," Lynn said as she dropped the trowel and whipped around to the front of Tolsen. His armor was badly damaged and she had to imagine he wasn't even on oxygen any more. "Shit Marine..." she grumbled. It was lucky they weren't far from the base camp. "Let's go. Quick, quick," she said as she grabbed his arm and started marching him back to camp. The initial readings had been positive but not knowing exactly what was in the air could cost the man his life. They moved double time and she damn near shoved him into the lab. Schaaf and Mayo jumped at the sudden appearance. "Get Doc, now," she barked at them. Ensign Mayo gave a sharp nod and ran off to fetch the Doc.

Lynn brooked no argument with Tolsen. She pushed him down to sit in a chair and pulled his helmet off, quickly followed by her own and her gloves. "How do you feel? Light headed? Dizzy?" She asked as she pried open his eye lids to check his pupils, leaning in close to check them. He'd be able to feel her breath across his cheek as she checked him out for any bursting of blood vessels or discoloration. "Numbness? Tingling? Anything unusual at all?" Her hands grasped his jaw, tilting his head side to side to check his ears and pressed two fingers on his throat to check his pulse. "When I said we shouldn't just take our helmets off and hope for the best I kind of meant it you know," she said with a wry smile. "But my non-medical opinion is you'll live."

An older, grizzled, FMF corpsman came into the lab behind ENS Mayo. He glanced at the group and that's when Lynn finally backed off from Tolsen. With light huff he ambled over to Tolsen to do his own check. He was hardly as invasive as Lynn, mostly checking for wounds where the armor and undersuit was shredded. "Day one and I get a call...mission's not looking great," he commented with a chuckle. "Seems like you're fine though...guess we found out air's not dangerous. Good, need a smoke."

Lynn's eye twitched a little at the comment. That was certainly not sound science. She took a long, slow, calming breath before speaking. "Thanks Doc. I'd like Sergeant Tolsen to see you again in a few hours, just to be sure. Is a blood sample and oxygen saturation test possible as well?" She hesitated for a moment, her eyes falling on the Marine. "If that's ok with you of course."

The Senior Chief glanced over and gave a shrug. "Whatever you want ma'am." His check done he got up and saw himself out of the lab.

"Thank you, Sergeant," Lynn said. A hand shot up before he could even had a possible inkling to refute the thanks. "I know it's your job but Ensign Jones and I owe you our thanks regardless." Her eyes flashed over to Jones who was busily unpacking the samples they managed to gather.

"Oh! Oh yes, sorry, thank you," he said quickly, popping half-assed attention.
 
OP
rskde

rskde

Supporter
Supporter
Joined
Aug 2, 2015
Location
Heckin' Japan
The bug seemed like not even a priority now that they had discovered some predators, who seemingly were very interested in either ensuring their territory remained their own or tasting the flesh of the odd species that had suddenly arrived on their planet. Either way, two of them laid dead in the grass, bleeding a deep red blood, similar to their own. He took a shaky breath, feeling the weight of foreign air on his lungs, he had experienced tear gas and other chemicals that had been a part of their training to be exposed to, and this just felt like.. air. He wasn't really even thinking about the possible consequences of breathing, just that for the first time in what felt like years he could inhale the scent of fresh air.

His ears rang slightly from the gunshots, his suit having been exposed to the air had made the noise-cancellation of his helmet quite useless, even with the armor that he wore (which could stop bullets and rated up to plasma shots), the alien had managed its way partially through it, only having gained real purchase on the suit component of his armor that helped to keep the oxygen in, while keeping his body at a survivable temperature in the case of exploring planets that didn't have atmosphere's like this one did. His quick thinking had saved both of the rock-loving scientists, knowing that pack predators enjoyed distracting the deadliest of a group so that the rest of its party could sneak around and take out whatever the deadlier creature was guarding before surrounding and closing the noose on him, but he wondered to himself how many other groups had run into these sort of creatures.

He blinked a few times as his visor depolarized, Lynn walking around to his front to examine the damage that had been done to him before quickly starting to rush him inside. She had told him that they were fine, at least he had done his job. Not to mention that he was still breathing... Even though, in hindsight that might have been part of the issue at the time. He was quickly shoved inside of the airlock, the chamber hissing around them as the air of Holoron was sucked away from them, replaced again with the stale, recycled air that Ryan had grown used to during his years in the Federation's service.

Then he was shoved into a chair in the lab and he blinked a few times, barraged with a couple of questions, even as his mind was still playing catch up, his training having kicked in enough to save them but not really process how quickly everything had just happened. "Considering you practically threw me into here, I'm a little light headed." He blinked as his helmet was quickly removed and set to the side so that the Corpsman now lazily meandering into the room could have a look at him. He didn't feel like anything had pierced past his suit, though with enough adrenaline, you could be missing both of your legs and still feel like you're able to run.

"He's still got his sarcasm, that's a good sign." Schaaf quipped, standing in the small circle that had formed around the Sergeant now that he had been placed in the Ecology lab.

Tolsen lazily lifted a hand and flipped him off, letting it down as Lynn started to examine him, her invasive hand moving his head to the side and checking his pulse, which was fairly rapid considering the adrenaline still pumping through his veins. "I feel fine." He said while blinking, lifting a hand to rub his eyes but being interrupted by one of Lynn's associates, who wanted to make sure that Lynn had enough space to do her work. "You know, I had no intention of becoming a lab rat.. Or a meal, what the fuck was that thing?" He laughed, humor seemingly a way for him to get a grasp on a situation that very easily could have ended up with him having his throat torn out.

"Shit busted right through this stupid plastic I'm wearing." He motioned down to his armor as the Doc walked over to check him out, Tolsen's eyebrows raising at the comment about smoking. "Can I bum a smoke Doc? I might need it to get over my trauma." He grinned, the Senior Chief seemingly not in the mood for Green-side bullshit, seeing himself out as soon as he had determined that Tolsen wasn't actually wounded.

"Sure, plug me with a bunch of needles while you're at it, my body is yours." Ryan leaned back in the chair and moved his hands down his suit, trying to get himself out of the heavy armor but instead having to use the emergency release, as it was busted enough to not be able to come off conventionally. "Can I get someone to fix that?" He motioned to one of the scientists on Lab duty. "Just bring it into engineering and tell them what happened, I trust you won't lose that.. Considering I know where you live." He pointed at Mayo who nodded quickly and ran over, grabbing the various pieces of armor before running out of the Lab to get it repaired.

One of his Marines with the word Anders scrawled across his chest walked in, raising his eyebrows at the scientist who ran out with the damaged armor before walking over to Tolsen. "You good Sarn't?" He asked, glancing to the other scientists. "I'm just gonna grab your helmet and share the camcording with the guys, show'em what we're up against." He scooped up Tolsen's helmet and quickly saw himself out, apparently word traveled very fast around the habitat.

Tolsen quickly waved away their apology. "Couldn't let you die.. Even if it would prove my argument yesterday right." He laughed quietly, holding his arm on the small bench attached to the chair so that they could sample his blood.
 

LilGunner

Nonsolis radios sediouis fulmina mitto.
Joined
Jul 16, 2017
Location
Michigan
Lynn's brows quirked as Tolsen damn near ordered Mayo around. Even more so when Mayo snapped to, grabbed up the armor, and trotted out of the lab. The morning had been eventful so she would let it go. She huffed a small sigh, finally feeling herself calm down after the incident. Lynn moved over to a tall chest of drawers while another Marine, Anders, came into the space. It wouldn't be long before LCDR Moore got wind of what happened and brought himself down to the lab. The footage would prove useful to study the creatures more. Of course dragging one of the corpses back would be even better. That would be a treasure trove of samples for all of the teams, not just hers. The biologists would wet themselves if they could get their hands on such a specimen, dead or alive.

She grabbed a small, sealed bag and the world's tiniest vial from the tall tool chest and turned back to Tolsen. Her eyes fell on his outstretched arm, perfectly ready to give some blood to science. She smirked and gave a quiet laugh as she opened the package. Just a single, tiny , spring-loaded needle in a box. Much like ones used for diabetic tests. "Easy Marine, this isn't a cholesterol test," she said as she grabbed his hand. Her hands were so small compared to his, he could completely swallow her fist in his hand. She pressed the box to his ring finger and fired the needle then replaced it with the vial, squeezing his finger firmly to encourage drops of blood to fall into the teeny tiny vial. Only four drops and it was nearly full. With the needed drops she pressed gauze to the small pricked wound.

Small vial of blood in hand she went to one of the tables to get to work. "Schaaf could you unpack the samples we got today? Jones got a decent read on the atmosphere but I'd like to see what densities we are looking at. Jones, start uploading your photos into the drive." She dipped a small pipette into the blood to take some out and put on a slide for the microscope, the rest was place into a machine to check for anything unusual.

"If you want to go catch some rack time Sergeant feel free to do so. I don't imagine this will be all that fascinating to you...and we aren't going back out until your suit is fixed. I just want to check you over again before night time." Of course, he didn't work for her specifically so he was free to do whatever he damn well pleased. "Unless you want to learn about the geochemical composition of the samples and how it could decide if this planet is viable," she added with a wry grin. Of course, funny enough, through sheer accident they might have found the air was perfectly safe to breathe. Hopefully the biologists would have good news about pathogens.
 
OP
rskde

rskde

Supporter
Supporter
Joined
Aug 2, 2015
Location
Heckin' Japan
He himself was quite surprised at how quickly the officer under Lynn's charge had scooped up his armor and run off with it, chuckling to himself, it was far too easy to order around newer officers if you knew what you were doing. He glacned to Anders as he scooped up his helmet and started walking out, catching his arm he looked to him. "Make sure you let them know they run in packs, study that footage and program some sims for the offtime, I want them ready." The Marine nodded to him before running off with his helmet, Tolsen knew that he would have it back before he had racktime for the night. He hoped to God that the CO didn't come down here and see him like this, practically strapped to a chair and ready to be tested on, he didn't need any more blemishes on his reputation.

"Oh doctor, what if it hurts?" He asked while scrunching his eyebrows together and offering his hand, sucking in a breath as she pinched the needle against his finger and let it leak some blood into the vial that she had grabbed to test it. "Ow." He said in response, though it hadn't really hurt.. He just enjoyed giving her shit. "Let me know if my blood is saturated or whatever, doesn't sound too good to me." He said before leaning back in the chair again. "I swear, if Doc tells me to change my socks one more time I'm gonna throw him out there and see how long it takes for those damn predators to come back, socks don't help anything." He lifted a hand to run through his ever-growing hair, one of these days he would have to get it under control, but he had not been given any shit over it yet.

"Yeah.. As much as that sounds amazing and all, I should probably sleep before my body explodes from all of the air I breathed in." He huffed. "Deadly stuff donchaknow?" He stood up from the chair and stretched before waving a goodbye to Lynn and walking out of the lab so that he could go to his rack, not like there was really anywhere else to go in this damned place. At least the Semper Avanti had a gym for him to utilize, this place just had stupid beetles and monsters that liked the taste of scientists in the morning.

Crawling into his rack, he found himself staring at the ceiling of it again, he had been having trouble falling asleep since Jorlheim, but he figured that he would get over it eventually.
 

LilGunner

Nonsolis radios sediouis fulmina mitto.
Joined
Jul 16, 2017
Location
Michigan
Tolsen's sarcastic ass was amusing, most of the time anyways. At least he had given up trying to be overly aggressive and assertive with her. She glanced up from the electric microscope with a small snort. "Well maybe if you changed your socks more often he wouldn't have to tell you," she quipped back at him. "Consider yourself lucky he didn't shove a bottle of motrin down your throat." With a quiet chuckle she pressed her eyes back to the microscope. Everything seemed normal enough, nothing too strange. She'd have to try and get some over to the biology team, have them check for any strange bacterium.

She sat back up as Tolsen bid his snarky adieu. For the non-science types she could see how tedious and dull their work might be. "Alright, sleep well Sergeant. I'll send someone to check on you in a couple hours but come back before taps. I want to get another blood sample just to make sure there are no changes and get some over to the biology team to check for pathogens." Of course the incubation time could be many, many days. They should know, before then, if there was anything really deadly on the planet anyways. Science had come a long way, it didn't take long for results to be found even in a small, makeshift lab like theirs.

Lynn and her team worked diligently through the day. Things hadn't gone exactly as planned but there was plenty for them to get to work studying until Tolsen was able to get out into the field again. Everything was checking out thus far. The balances of chemicals close enough to earth that it was well within safe parameters. Despite the events of the day things were looking up. In the afternoon Lynn sent Jones to quietly check on Tolsen, just to make sure he hadn't up and died in his sleep. Her team worked right up until dinner. Lynn excused the guys for the day, their work mostly done. She had to finish up the paperwork aspect of it all, present her findings with the other team leads to LCDR Moore in the morning. After dinner she headed back to the lab.

It was quiet and peaceful but for the rhythmic tapping of her keyboard. She had removed her contacts for the day, preferring to wear glasses at the computer anyways, the glass helped alleviate eye strain from the computer screen. Besides the fact her eyes always felt so much better after removing the contacts. Before knocking off she asked Mayo if he would find Sergeant Tolsen and remind him that she wanted to check him over once again. It had been eleven hours since his exposure to the outside air. If anything was amiss with him it should have manifested by then. While she would never condone using people as such simple guinea pigs she had to admit it was a convenient coincidence for him to get exposed.
 
OP
rskde

rskde

Supporter
Supporter
Joined
Aug 2, 2015
Location
Heckin' Japan
It wasn’t much like him to rack up this early, but with his adrenaline now leaving his system he could feel himself actively crashing. Even the stress of Jorlheim couldn’t keep his eyes from forcing themselves closed, though Jorlheim had its own impacts on the images immediately brought to the forefront of his mind. It had been bloody and chaotic, the Federation hadn’t known much about the planet before sending its Marines to take care of the Confederation that had made their base on the surface.

If they had bothered to do an ounce of research they would have known that a single bullet to the suit of a Marine was enough to expose him to an immediately deadly amount of nitrogen, so many had died from a bullet that had just skimmed them, the enemy preferring kinetic ammunition on Jorlheim specifically to avoid igniting the air around them with their usual preferred plasma weaponry. The Federation had attacked the enemy without warning, the only reason they were able to inflict some casualties on the enemy before being forced to retreat back to the transports that often didn’t wait around long enough to get to full troop capacity, so many left behind.

He gasped quietly and woke up, feeling a hand on his arm as Mayo woke him up. “Lieutenant wanted you to see her.” Tolsen just nodded and watched the Ensign walk off before slipping out of his rack and rubbing his eyes.

“Fuck.” He mumbled before putting his blouse and boots back on, walking briskly to get back to the Ecology lab, standing in the doorway for a few moments while watching Lynn at her computer. “You know, I assumed you wore glasses, but now it’s confirmed.” He walked inside and tapped the button for the door to close behind him, figuring that she didn’t want to be disturbed aside from checking him to make sure he was okay. He walked over and sat down in the chair next to her, rubbing the sleep from his eyes so that he could be more attentive to any questions she might have.
 

LilGunner

Nonsolis radios sediouis fulmina mitto.
Joined
Jul 16, 2017
Location
Michigan
Lynn didn't look up from her work even when the hulking shape of Tolsen appeared in the door way. Her eyes stayed focused on the screen, her fingers dancing across the keys. Not until he piped up did her eyes raise, fingers still tapping away on the keys. She looked at the blurry shape of the marine in the door way over her glasses. Her lips pressed together a moment before she huffed a sigh and returned her gaze to the screen. "Why? Because all nerds wear glasses?"She heard the soft, metallic hiss of the door as it closed, trying to finish up her thoughts before turning her attention to the marine even as he plopped down beside her. Fingers still flying she glanced over to him as he rubbed his eyes tiredly. "You look like shit marine."

Finally she stopped and leaned back in the tall stool, arching her back to let the vertebrae give a satisfying pop. She sighed contently, her back relieved with the pop, and she spun around to face him. He really did look like shit despite sleeping all day. "Guess you needed the rest though huh?" Lynn slid off the stool and headed back to the tall tool box to retrieve another needle and two tiny vials to collect a blood sample as well as a blood pressure cuff and oxygen saturation clip she had borrowed from doc. "I know you guys aren't big on it but if you ever need to talk my door is always open. De-blouse please, I won't take up too much time."

Items in hand she returned to the stool and let him remove the blouse before sliding the cuff up his arm. Rather than the massive, bulky units of yesteryear it was all one, solid unit. The digital display sat on the side with plenty of juice to pump up the cuff. Everything seemed normal there. "No change since this morning? Blurred vision or dizziness? Minus having just woken up. Headaches? Nausea?" As she questioned him she jotted down notes of the readings, they would go into the end of the report and into a mishap report she still needed to work on before bed. Like before she check his eyes, using a light this time to check for dilation and constriction, ensure there was no bleeding of mucus membranes. The woman had zero concern for space, leaning in close to check and peering over her glasses that kept sliding down her nose.

"And say ahhh," she said as she put a hand to his jaw to check his gums and tongue for anything unusual. "And just a light swab..." A long cotton tipped stick was rubbed on the inside of his cheek and stored away in a bag. "Lookin good Tolsen...you seem just fine. Though that's not to count for prolonged exposure, have to rule out everything ya know. Ok just the blood now." She grabbed the opposite hand she had drawn from that morning and pricked that ring finger. "Bit more this time to get a sample over to bio. The likely hood of pathogens spreading so rapidly is...minimal," she said as she held his large hand in hers to drip blood into the two mini vials. One was capped and put into another bag for the biology team, the other she sat on her desk to analyze.

"Maybe we should name those...raptor things after you. Tolseraptors," she grinned at him with a wry, amused smirk.
 
OP
rskde

rskde

Supporter
Supporter
Joined
Aug 2, 2015
Location
Heckin' Japan
Tolsen laughed and shook his head. “No I just figured you were blind from the way those things snuck up on us.” He joked before leaning back in the chair that was next to her, watching her as she did her work on her computer. Science bored him but at least it was something to look at while he waited for her to do her final tests on him, she seemed busy enough that he didn’t want to push her.. not to mention he had just spent most of the day sleeping. She mentioned that he looked like shit and he laughed loudly, shrugging his shoulders. “Some would call it roguishly handsome, but I’ll take it.” He set his hands behind his head.

He shrugged his shoulders when she asked if he had needed the rest, in his mind he didn’t need to sleep to fight well, and that was truly his job at the end of the day, he killed things.. professionally. “It’s nothing really, standard shit that comes with witnessing massacres.” He unbuttoned his blouse and slipped it off, draping it over the chair he sat on before looking back to the doctor. “Y’know, feeling like you could’ve done better and everything.” Though deep in his mind he understood that in such a large battle there was nothing a single individual could have done to turn the tide.

“No, I feel fine.” His eyes settled on the device that she had plopped on to his arm, always interested in noting his own health. “I know, I’m quite the specimen aren’t I?” He grinned as she started checking his eyes, leaning in fairly close to get the job done. “Y’know, I know you said psychiatry isn’t your field, but I have a feeling general medication is also not your field.” He chuckled, before she gripped his jaw to force his mouth open. “Aaaaahhhh.” He exaggerated, closing his mouth and rubbing his jawline after she had let go. “Is there a safe word to all of this? I figure asking now rather than later would be ideal.” He held out his hand so that she could take her blood sample.

“I was thinking they should be called Cutters, since they managed to put a gash in pure Titanium.” His easy-going demeanor dropped for one that seemed a bit more concerned. “We need to be careful out there.”
 

LilGunner

Nonsolis radios sediouis fulmina mitto.
Joined
Jul 16, 2017
Location
Michigan
Lynn couldn't help but laugh with the man. At least he had a sense of humor. She'd take his snark over the silent, gruff type any day of the week. "No safe words here, you just have to put up with it. Serves you right for breathing, huh?" She chuckled as she packaged up the one vial and the swap together. While she would be wrong to admit it out loud it was kind of lucky the mishap occurred. Lucky, of course, it didn't kill Tolsen but also lucky that it was hasten their decision of the planet being safe to live on. All they would need after the current samples were processed was some water to test. If the water was safe then they would have the green light.

His offer of the name cutters was met with a disbelieving raise of her brows and a look over the rim of her glasses. Though a return quip was cut off as he sobered for a moment. She nodded slowly, pushing her glasses back up the bridge of her nose and glancing up pensively. "It's lucky that no one got badly hurt," she agreed with him. "Not that we should throw ourselves into danger blindly but...we knew the risks coming out here. Different than the front lines but...still a risk. But hey," she reached out and clapped a hand on his shoulder. "That's what we got marines for right? Shit hit the fan but Jones and I would be Cutter food if you hadn't been there."

With a gentle pat she turned back to take a drop from the vial and put it under the microscope, another into the computer to analyze the contents. She lifted her glasses to the top of her head to press her eyes into the microscope, picking up her head a couple times to check the readings on his blood. "Uh huh...just as I suspected...no changes. Lieutenant Commander Moore will be thrilled. I heard he was a little...pissed that shit hit the fan on day one." She laughed and leaned back in the stool again to dispose of the slides and jot down notes. While up she meandered over to clean beaker gently bubbling away on an old fashion hot plate. Grabbing some gloves she poured the water into a mug and dropped in a bag of tea. "You want a cup of tea? Nothing special, just herbal...and don't tell CS1 about this...he'll be pissed I jacked a couple bags and mugs." She added with a little wag of her finger at Tolsen.

"Honestly I've considered requesting some of the scientists be armed when going into the field. Just a side arm...but it's better than a little garden spade against whatever else might be on the planet," she said with a shrug and quiet laugh while prepping tea. "Not that I'd trust every scientist here with a weapon."
 
OP
rskde

rskde

Supporter
Supporter
Joined
Aug 2, 2015
Location
Heckin' Japan
“Damn, I wouldn’t trust you around a length of rope then.” He shoots right back while watching her conduct her various tests on his blood to make sure that he was okay. While he hadn’t meant to be a guinea pig, he was happy to be able to contribute to allowing men and women such as himself to smoke outdoors. “You smoke Doc?” He asked while leaning back in his chair. “I’m missing cigarettes right about now.” He rubbed his eyes again, though he understood that smoking was bad and all, with the technology available to the Federation, replacing a lung or two was really not an issue.

“It is good, but what about next time?” He shrugged his shoulders. “Those things were feeling us out, testing our defenses, they wanted to see what we were capable of.. now we just have to hope that two of their own dead is enough of a message for them to stay away.” He hoped that was the case, there had to be other things on this planet for Cutters to be worried about eating that had less sophisticated defenses. He rubbed the back of his head after she had clapped him on the shoulder. “Wasn’t fast enough to save my own skin, I’m getting old.” He laughed, watching her with curious eyes, she was almost a different person when her subordinates weren’t around.

She offered a cup of tea and he shook his head. “Not really a tea guy, appreciated though.” He said while sitting up slightly, watching as she made herself tea before coming back to him. “Half of your people look like they would shit themselves if they pulled a trigger, we’ll have reinforcements coming as soon as the Semper Avanti learns that the air is breathable.” Though for the purposes of science? Definitely not, once LCDR Moore passed the information, the Engineering Corps along with at least a battalion of Marines would be on standby to come down to the planet and start laying plans for a major military installation.

“Where’re you from, anyway? You don’t seem like a colony girl.” He said while crossing his arms over his chest, eyeing her as if trying to place where she was from in his mind.
 

LilGunner

Nonsolis radios sediouis fulmina mitto.
Joined
Jul 16, 2017
Location
Michigan
"On occasion when drinking but no, I don't normally smoke. Not much opportunity when crammed on a ship in space," she said with a light shrug. It wasn't exactly a good habit to have but she could sympathize with his dire need for one. At least he wasn't a nicotine deprived rage monster without his smokes. All the technological advancements and still somethings hadn't changed for humanity. When he remarked on getting old she laughed, careful not to spill the hot water. "All the tech in the world and these primitive creatures still get the jump on us. It would be fascinating to study what their claws are made of to slice through titanium like that. At least they're not bulletproof."

Lynn snickered as she dunked the tea bag into the mug of hot water. "Some nerds live up to the reputation, that's true enough." Though she was still serious about going out armed. If nothing else she would feel a little better with something besides the marine for defense. His job it might be but she hated feeling defenseless, now knowing at least one deadly thing that was out there. "At least when they come our lodging will get a bit better. Not exactly a fan of the thunderous snoring from a couple individuals," she said with a light laugh as she tossed out the tea bag and went back to the work bench near Tolsen.

Her brows rose as he asked about where she came from, grinning a bit when he said she didn't seem like a colony girl. "Well you'd be right Sergeant. I'm from earth, born and raised. Studying ecology is a bit...broader on earth than the colonies. Did primary in the former US but, going back after an enlistment to college, I studied at Oxford." She took a sip of the still scalding brew before starting to tap away again at the keyboard to enter the results of her tests on him. "What about you Sergeant? Anyone waiting for you to come home? Family? Wife? Girlfriend...?" she paused a thoughtful moment before adding "or boyfriend I guess, no judgement."
 
OP
rskde

rskde

Supporter
Supporter
Joined
Aug 2, 2015
Location
Heckin' Japan
He shrugged his shoulders. "So cigars or cigarettes? I know a good cigar goes a long way with a proper drink." He hadn't expected her to even smoke at all, so just knowing that she enjoyed the odd smoke with a drink was news to him. "I'd love to catch a drink with you sometime." He offered, maybe she wouldn't be such a plank of wood to deal with after all. "In fact, since I'm all clear.. I have a decent bottle of whiskey." He offered. "A celebration to our survival, if you would." He offered a bit of a grin, though the topic had soon switched to how the Cutters had managed to cut through Titanium. "Could mean that there's something even stronger on this planet, could be a turning point in armor tech."

Leaning back in his chair again, he laughed along with her, he could only imagine a few scientists that could hold their own with a weapon, and of course a few that would probably do more harm than good using one. The predators of this world seemed to be able to sense who was the weak prey, already a step above some alien lifeforms that didn't understand exactly what Humans were and how to deal with them.. Until it was far too late for their survival. "Better lodging does sound nice.. Plus there's nowhere to have sex around here, people are gonna start losing their minds." He joked.

Ryan listened to her talk about where she was from and what she had studied, her history was certainly impressive, it made him look down to the floor a bit as she asked him about his own story. "Well, I didn't exactly go to college or make anything of myself.. I wouldn't be here if I had." He laughed, rubbing the back of his head. "I'm from the Colonies, Gracia III to be exact, grew up on an oxygen farm." It was an important job for a planet with no atmosphere to be producing oxygen constantly, the trees and other forms of ecology that kept the Colony alive. "That's probably why I hate ecology so much." He laughed. "Nah, no girlfriend.. Never had the time, even if I wanted one." He sighed quietly.
 
Top Bottom