lost_mckay (lost_mckay) wrote in the_lifeboat,
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Offworld again!

Who:All who'd 'signed up' on the OOC
Where:: Off-world, desert planet
When: Wednesday, June 16th, early afternoon Gamma-time
Invited: See above
Status: COMPLETE


All in all, the mission briefing repeated what the reports handed out had said. This was a mission for the eggheads.



Okay, while it didn't come right out and say 'eggheads', there was a great deal in the report that was geared specifically for the archaeologists (and therefore the anthropologists), the geologists, and, remarkably, the physicists. Toss in a botanist in there for good measure, and there was the making for an incredibly geeky good time. Which, in General Jack O'Neill's book, meant that the first and undoubtedly his last off-world trip was going to be FUN.

Still, it was a chance to go off-world and actually watch what the others were doing... and it was a chance to get Colonel Carter and Dr. Daniel Jackson off-world. They'd been stymied as to who to select for their third team member, and as a result, had buried themselves in work, in telemetry, and all around made their feelings known exactly what they thought of being 'grounded' for such a long period of time. At least, to him.

***

Stepping through the 'gate, the world on the other side was dark, though the beginnings of a sunrise was forming in the distance over the expanse of sand. It was cool, the sky was clear but for a few clouds, with the potential of a warm day ahead of them. With sunglasses hanging around his neck, Jack O'Neill was once again stepping foot on another world. It felt good, after a fashion. Mission wasn't hard-- go look at some ruins, check as to why there was an energy source in the same area.

Dressed in desert fatigues with a tan-coloured, billed hat set low over his eyes, as each crossed over to the other side, he waved them in directions-- scientists were to form up 'over there', the military guard would be split up-- some would make sure the 'gate was secured, the rest would accompany the scientists to the ruins. (For the military, it was already determined by drawing straws, combined with the general's overriding veto.)

For the scientists, it was Lt. Colonel Carter's show. She was the one 'in charge' of the mission. Jack's part in it all was to 'lead the troops' to keep the geniusses safe. Thankfully, he tore out a couple of crossword puzzles and stuffed them into his front pocket, along with a pencil. Nothing. More. Exciting.

When everyone was over, Jack called out to those 'unlucky' enough to stand guard at the stargate, "We'll be back soon. Check in is in ever four hours. We don't check in, go home." Don't come after them. Nothing worse than having to worry about their potential 'rescuers' as well. Besides, if MiniMe heard about their lack of checking in, he was 'Plan B'.

"Okay, when you're ready, let's move 'em out."

Tags: ami jackson, daniel jackson, jack o'neill, jade weston, marcus cole, offworld, ron boone, sam carter, summer klein, teyla emmagen, will harris
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Jade had woken up fairly bouncing with excitement, but by the time she'd showered and dressed in her newly-found fatigues or BDUs or whatever they were actually called and joined the assembling team near the stargate she'd put on an appearance of outward calm. It wasn't a trip to Tau, but it was a trip offworld, a trip to investigate mysterious things which had, on the whole, failed to emerge on the planet they were actually living on.

In hindsight, that lack of mysterious things was probably good. Mysterious things on a distant planet reached through the stargate were far safer than mysterious things on the same celestial body.

Joining the group of scientists, Jade felt rather conspicuous. She'd refused to carry a weapon, and wearing just a flak jacket and a backpack she felt strange next to the other scientists who were mostly at least carrying pistols. At least her vaguely-known-to-the-people-in-charge but not-really-explained-yet association with Ami had let her wish to go unarmed pass by; the top officers were clearly familiar with the female Dr Jackson's habits.

After a surprisingly small amount of milling about before the stargate the great ring began to turn and within a few moments a stable wormhole formed. Jade went through with the other scientists and clustered with them where they were directed, staying out of the way while the airmen and soldiers and marines - or whatever they were - made sure the area around the gate was secure.

Standing there, ignoring the low chatter of some of the scientists as they looked around at the local vegetation, Jade cast her mind outwards, reaching her metaphorical ears over the surrounding chatter, 'listening' for anybody else nearby. She found nothing.

That seemed like a good start.
It was strange how easily his presence had been accepted and his request to join the off-world excursion, although unusual, had not even been questioned. Let alone the leaders asking HOW he knew there was going to be an offworld mission.

Marcus had taken to checking in with Cassie fairly frequently, and now that his memory had mostly returned, he was finding it nice to talk to a normal person. He'd missed that Human contact, although he frequently found himself muttering in Minbari.

So, with no sense of trepidation, but a huge wave of excitement, he'd worn his rangers robes and had taken his place in the team. Ostensibly, he was going to help protect the scientists, but he was curious as to how far from 'home' (if Minbar could be called home? Yes, probably it was the closest he could get) he really was. This part of the sky had held no meaning to him.

He hefted the pistol slightly, moving it in the folds of his robes, then moved up beside Daniel. "This doesn't look so familiar" he muttered quietly. Only Daniel had any clue about Marcus' real reasons for being here.
Ron had volunteered to control the group around the gate. After all, he was military and they had needed someone who could take command, in a given emergency. Or to make the hard decisions. Jack's commands of "leave us if no answer" elicited a nod.

He knew Jack hated the chain of command thing, but in circumstances like this, it was impossible not to try and rag on Jack; a little. "Sir, I will keep in touch with base, too. It stands to reason that even though we are separated, we can keep in touch more easily that way.

He couldn't quite hide the faint smile that curled his lips, when Jack scowled at the honorific, but he DID at least refrain from saluting his senior officer.
Even before Will's contacts had told him that Jade was going on the off-world mission, Will had made arrangements for himself. He was kind of nervous about investigating another alien world, but his curiosity got the better of him. Besides, he was (discreetly) armed to the teeth: 9 mm semi-auto pistol, long-range TASER, vibro-knife, and his brand new Small Area Time Decelerator (SATD). Under his desert-colored fatigues Will wore the lightweight bulletproof armor one of his ELE colleagues had invented. The carbon fiber mesh felt like thin nylon thermal underwear. Will knew from personal experience that the fabric worked.

Tightly clutching his SATD, which looked much like the TASER on his belt, Will hung back as the soldier-types moved forward. They could take the brunt of the ambush should one occur.

While he waited for the group to move out Will tried not too look at Jade too much. Her obvious enthusiasm made her that much more attractive. Fortunately there was another spectacle for Will to consider: the bearded guy with the robes. Marshal or something? What was he, a monk?

[Ami]

fikgirl

December 30 2008, 02:41:39 UTC 8 years ago Edited:  December 31 2008, 23:54:46 UTC

Once the large group cleared the 'gate and the wormhole blinked out behind them, Ami took a moment to survey the surroundings. She had access to the initial scans and information gathered by GT-2, but photographs and diagrams had nothing on the real thing. Dust and sand, all around, scattered desert vegetation here and there. Once the sun cleared the horizon, it was going to go from cool to warm and possibly hot very quickly.

Desert fatigues were the order of the day and at least Ami understood why now. (Fun hot walk to the ruins,) Ami mused. She adjusted her 'boonie' hat, letting the chin cord hang loosely around her and the cap take up residence at the middle of her back. Her hair was pulled up in bun, out of her face and out of her way for the day's work.

She glanced back at the group of assorted scientist types. They were a motley rag-tag lot. Definite scientists without the training and survival skills given to those on Gamma Teams and –

(Since when did you become an elitist snob?) Ami caught her train of thought and quietly chastised herself. Little more than a month of experience under her belt and here, she was playing the 'I'm-better-than-that-lot' game.

Ami gave a nod to Jade, giving her the telepathic equivalent of a nudge and a hug, but stayed near the front of the line with Daniel and Teyla. Her experience did give her the right to be there, and none of the soldiers on detail looked at her (too) funny for it. Besides, this was where Ami needed to be to let General O'Neill and Colonel Carter know if someone – or something – was taking an interest in their group.

At Colonel Carter's signal, the groups moved out, scientists guarded and protected by the soldiers who came along. The walk was relatively boring and unimpressive, except to the botanists and geologists. That group broke away first, and after conferring with the General and Colonel Carter, a group of soldiers stayed behind to watch them while they gathered plant, dirt, dust and rock samples.

"I didn't think you had it in you to be a science snob," Daniel commented dryly. He kept his voice low, falling back to drop into pace beside her.

Ami feigned confusion, though she felt her face warm. "I don't know what you're talking about."

"You might not have said anything, but your face back there was a dead giveaway."

"I understand the necessity, Daniel, but it doesn’t mean that I want to type and match flora and fauna all day." Ami peered up at him from, though his eyes were hidden behind sunglasses as much as hers were. "I didn't see you jumping at the opportunity either."

"Everyone knows I'm an elitist science snob," Daniel flashed her a grin and looked determinedly ahead.

They were about five miles out from the 'gate when Ami felt it. Or rather, felt them. Other minds in the area, and not animal ones. Either they hid themselves well or hadn't been present when the group first came through the stargate.

Nothing hostile in them, just curiousity. Waiting and watching.

Ami subtly touched her ear, activating the radio there. It had an open channel to the General, Colonel Carter, Daniel and the lead soldiers. Need to know priority, had been the designation.

"General, we're being watched." Ami spoke quietly, knowing her message would carry to the ears of those listening, but that it wasn't loud enough to be overheard by anyone else, not with the crunch of sand and chatter of scientists. "Six or seven of them, it's hard to tell at this distance. No hostility, just curiosity."
Eyes were on the Ranger and he knew it. In the guise of surveying the area, he could easily see who it was. One of the scientists, with too much weaponry on him for a normal scientist. Oh, it was well hidden, but Marcus was trained by the best to spot any potential weapons.

But, it wasn't really necessary to point this out to anyone.

He continued to look around, blue eyes catching a faint movement, narrowing, then relaxing a little as he saw a little bird fly out of a thicket.

While he had the feeling they were being watched, he had no proof. Until he saw one of the English archaeologists touch the radio stud in her ear. It was subtle and he couldn't hear what she said, but he was no fool.

He didn't appear to do anything, to react at all. But inside he felt his training kicking in. A coiled spring doesn't look like it's under tension, until you release all the kinetic energy in it.
Despite the heat and the dryness, Jade walked along quite happily, her big hat shading her face and enjoying the amiable company of the variety of scientists who'd come on the mission. They were a mismatched crew with a number of different specialities. Jade was starting to suspect, from the mission briefing and the expertise of the other scientists, that she might have been allowed to come along as much for her 'other' abilities as for her knowledge of physics.

The geologists and botanists were already in their element, studying and sampling everything, eventually breaking off into another group with their own escort. Jade and the other physicists and archaeologists were far more interested in the promised ruins at the end of the walk, so carried on behind General O'Neill, Colonel Carter and the two Dr Jacksons. Jade kept noticing Will watching her, a prickling at the back of her mind and the occasional glimpse out of the corner of her eye, but she did her best to subtly avoid him, staying on the other side of the scientists. Something about the way he'd turned up at the gate with his array of weapons and equipment and the way he looked at her... she was starting to find it a bit creepy. She'd just had a bit of fun flirting with the man, but now he seemed to be rather more interested in her than she was in him.

Not that she was remotely scared of him, of course. Just... slightly uneasy.

It was perhaps because of her preoccupation with Will that it wasn't until Jade felt a spike of alarm that she realised there were other minds nearby. Cursing herself for not paying attention as she should have realised she should have been doing, Jade felt a number of their escort become far more alert and watchful. Ami had been the first to notice, she thought, but another man was almost as fast, before the message had passed along. Noticing Ami's reaction, or noticing something else? He was a strange one, dressed in robes and speaking with an English accent out of stories rather than real life. Still, there was something in his walk now that spoke of readiness, and he radiated an aura of calm determination. Whatever might happen, he intended to be ready for it.

As did Jade. She glanced around, glad she'd stayed near the scientists. Will could probably take care of himself she thought, but most of them had looked like they'd never even seen a gun before, even though they'd looked at Jade strangely for refusing to take one.

Relaxing a bit under the realisation that their escort really were ready to protect them and capable of making a very good job of it, Jade let herself feel the watching minds more carefully. That's all they were doing... watching. For now, perhaps, they were safe.
"Sir, I will keep in touch with base, too. It stands to reason that even though we are separated, we can keep in touch more easily that way," Ron had responded, the 'sir' bringing something of a scowl, particularly given their 'history'. Still, it was a better position than being the one to take orders from a snake... "You do that.." came slowly and distinctly; the tones offered that recognition of friendship, if not the words. "Keep the light burning."

Jack took point, followed closely by Lt. Colonel Carter, Daniel finding his spot a little back, in the 'protected' area, though certainly in front of the military-types that had "won" the draw. They were holding in the back, bringing up the rear. Those science-types in the middle were given the option of carrying a handgun, after being checked out at the range, of course, or more non-lethal self-defense options.. again, checked out personally. The general actually preferred those who weren't good with weapons to NOT carry. Made things easier that way, and as far as targets went, made them less so.

"Looks like she's been learning from you, Daniel," Jack observed, and he turned around to walk backwards a couple of steps, arms leaning, resting on his slung P90. "Don't learn all his habits, okay?" His hand waves in gesture, "He gets real excited over things, and it makes it hard on us all."

Turning back around to face front, his eyes scanned the horizon and took a moment to look up, just in case. Bringing his eyes back, he glanced to the side where Carter was, and 'eyes fronted' for more walking. "Good thing I brought the boots that were broken in.."

A few more miles under the belt, they were beginning to approach the ruins. That was a good thing as some of the less to not experienced were grousing quietly: Why couldn't they have taken the jumper and flown to the site cloaked?

"General, we're being watched. Six or seven of them, it's hard to tell at this distance. No hostility, just curiosity." came through his radio quietly. Jack didn't respond back, though there was a set to his back, a slight shifting of posture of his hands on his P90, and he scanned the distance again. The ruins were within sight now, getting larger and larger as they approached.

Lots of places to hide, certainly, and he wanted to know where they were before he let the scientists loose on the place. He didn't want to rely upon Ami and her rather unpredictable cohort for cues. Jack would use them, but not overuse, as the case was...

As they got closer, the general put his hand up to stop the entourage, and twisted around to call out softly, "Adler.." He gestured, now, handsignals, fingers out, ordering a flank around and to stop at the first defensible position. "Corwin.." The same came, only in the other direction; the soldier had to get closer than Adler, but it was doable. They'd come up the center, making it obvious that they were coming, and taking some of the attention...
Summer had been with the SGC for years, so she has been offworld to other planets... heck other galaxies before. She knew the drill but that didn't mean she had to like it. She got up this morning, dressed in the desert BDUs and silently cursed Jack O'Neill for having taken her up on her offer. Sure she said she would go offworld if she was needed, but hadn't she made it clear that she hoped she wasn't? Especially not to go to a world that hadn't already been scouted for hostiles? Damn Generals.

She stepped through the gate with a shiver, quickly moving to be close to one of the military folk. She may have had a gun strapped to her hip but the odds that it would ever clear the holster were slim. The one time it had on a mission was when one of the military guys had run out of ammo and she handed the loaded gun to him. Summer knew her job, look at plants and duck behind cover should anything happen. It was a job she could live with... easily.

Summer took a look around the desert planet and let out a sigh, "Oh yeah, this so needs a botanist. Look at all the... flora." Sand, sand, and more sand... whee.
This was an arid, dusty desert, not unlike Narn, Marcus mused.

To the untrained eye, the group that were heading to the ruins appeared uncoordinated and more of a gaggle. But since Marcus saw Ami's movement, he had seen the signs of those who had the true warrior's heart.

He had made small-talk with a young geologist that had only wanted to see the ruins, his demenour quiet and sympathetic to the nervous woman.

"...and so when I got chosen for this, it was terrifying at first..."

She stopped, as the General stopped the movment of the groups. A very competent man, the General had already gained a measure of respect in Marcus' mind. However, Marcus wasn't here as a true member of the military compliment. He'd proven his accuracy with a hand gun, not too dissimilar to a PPG, with a 95% bullseye hit rate on a dummy. What he hadn't revealed was that he dumped the last 5% deliberately.

He turned to the girl, who's eyes were wide as they looked at the distant ruins. Then held out a warning hand. "I think they want to scout the area first, Maia, so why don't you tell me more about yourself?"

She was rather boring, but at the same time, he didn't want her to get into trouble.

"You know, I just realised you're English!" she scowled "I'm not a linguist"

"So you keep saying"

"But it's almost as if I can hear the education in your voice. You must have gone to one of the big universities on Earth, or something?"

"No, I'm not from Ear.."

"My father always told me that a well educated man spoke with the clearest accent... so... anyway, I was saying about..."

He listened politely, with the odd quiet interjection as Maia continued obliviously. There was no hint of boredom to him, just a quiet acceptance. Meanwhile, his eyes drifted to the ruins. Certainly not any race's architecture that he knew. Definately not Centauri, Minbari, or Narn.

This would be interesting.
Jade watched as the General ordered a stop with a simple raising of his hand. The scientists stopped rather more messily than the soldiers present, many of them so lost in conversation that they had been barely aware of their location. Part of Jade wished she could have joined them in a similar state of obliviousness, discussing intricacies of subatomic theory, but her awareness of the watchers distracted her from such possibilities.

She stood and watched the General deploy soldiers - to scout? Possibly. Ami would have passed on the information about the watchers, although maybe O'Neill would have been this cautious anyway.

[I wish they'd just do something. I hate the uncertainty,] Jade 'said' to Ami. [Preferably not shooting at us.]
In Will's wholly biased opinion, this mission sucked. Why had they wanted physicists along? To drip sweat while trudging through sand? Any muscle-brained soldier could do that.

Will drank from his canteen while the muscle-brains scouted ahead. He almost wanted them to find something. Will's SATD needed more testing.

He snuck another glance at Jade, who caught him at it. She frowned a bit, then looked away. (Bitch,) Will thought. He'd bought her cotton candy, a meal at Moe's, and had made her a miniature solar-powered cotton candy machine, and she wouldn't give him the time of day. (Not worth my time,) Will assured himself, but only half-believed it.

To further distract himself Will walked up to Marshall* and the woman babbling at him. They turned toward him as he approached. "Uh, hi," he managed. "Pretty boring so far, huh?"


* Will thinks that Marcus's name is Marshall.

[Marcus]

tweets

January 4 2009, 11:17:58 UTC 8 years ago Edited:  January 4 2009, 11:18:16 UTC

Marcus proffered a welcoming smile, then opened his mouth to reply.

"Well, you knew it was gonna be a long walk, didn't ya?" Maia interjected "I mean, desert and sand and..."

"Dr Sorensen" someone called and (finally!) Maia looked up and turned away.

Marcus rolled his eyes in relief "Thank you. Couldn't have come somewhat sooner?" The sparkle of his blue eyes showed that, while he would have appreciated a more timely rescue, it was said in jest. He offered his hand. "Marcus Cole, part of the defence contingent."
Will shook the robed man's hand. Cole's firm grip belied hidden strength. "Will Harris. Part of the, uh, science contingent." He frowned at the man's odd dress again. "I gotta ask. Why the robes? Are you hiding some sort of armor?"
His hand unconsciously moved to touch the green brooch that adorned the brown robes. A large, oval green gem, surrounded by two figures, who seemed to embrace the gem. Armour enough, if you knew the rangers.

"No." he smiled, almost apologetically "not armour. These are the robes of my caste, the people I work with. Just like the mil's here wear their.." he paused, not having the right words "desert garb?" he finished almost lamely "this is what we wear in the field."
"Oh." An awkward silence dragged out. Will ended it with, "So, uh, caste? Are you Indian? Not Native American, I mean, but... what's it called... Hindu?"

Before Marcus had a chance to answer O'Neill the not-clone signaled a halt. After a few more hand gestures a few soldiers moved ahead. Biting his lip, Will looked around. All he saw was sand and xerophillic flora. He whispered to Marcus, "What's going on?"
A faint smile curled Marcus' lips. "We're being watched and the mils are trying to figure out if they are friend or foe." Marcus' whisper was relaxed, as if he'd known for a while. It was a feeling he'd had since he saw Ami talking to the team leaders, but it wasn't until the halt was called moments later that he realised there was more to his feeling of unease.

However, they were fanning out in a traditional style, they weren't a threat, just yet.

"We need to stay nearer the edge of the group, in case there is trouble." Moving carefully, Marcus steered Will towards an outcropping of the ruin that would provide cover if there was trouble. He glanced around for Maia and was relieved to hear she'd shut up at last. A little gesture of 'come hither' was made, it was her choice if she followed.