Title: The Search Begins
Synopsis: Heather decides it is time to contemplate a back up base to the Ranch.
<Priv-Radio> Heather O'Leary sent Pyotr Zagadka a private message containing, "Pyotr, I've been thinking... and I need someone to do some piloting for me. You free?"
<Priv-Radio> Pyotr Zagadka transmits to Heather O'Leary privately, "Da I am free. Just let me get dressed. I be there soon."
<Priv-Radio> Heather O'Leary sent Pyotr Zagadka a private message containing, "Take your time. It will take me a little bit to get to the barn. I also recommend you wear a Visitor Uniform. Just in case."
Pyotr Zagadka is pulling on his coat, his hair still slightly damp from a shower, as he enters the Barn.
Heather O'Leary walks in, slowly, wearing a Visitor Shock Trooper Uniform, complete with Helmet. She must also be wearing a Vocoder, as her voice reverberates like a Visitor, "There are some spare uniforms in a Skyfighter 198." She says softly.
Pyotr Zagadka just blinks at her, a little shocked by the fact she is in Visitor Drag. "Heather.... Why do I have a bad feeling?" he asks, slowly.
Her face is pale, and very serious, "I do not plan on running into any trouble, especially in my condition, but it is better to be safe than sorry." Heather pauses, than says softer than before, "But, we do not have a backup base, if we are compromised here. We need someplace to go, and I have a list of three possible locations we can check out... and if we do so in Visitor guise, it is less likely we will be questioned, by anyone."
Pyotr Zagadka is silent for a moment, thinking over what she says... Then he nods in agreement. "Da. You are right. We need a backup. And you know area better then most of us." He slips off his coat and heads towards the Skyfighter, sighing. Pulling the uniform out he steps behind the fighter, only his feet showing beneath, and then his clothes around his feet.. A few moments later he steps out in a Visitor Uniform. "I feel sullied."
Heather O'Leary pulls out a small collar-like contraption, and hands it over to Pyotr, "This is a vocoder. It will cause your Larynx to vibrate, making it sound like the Visitors." She shrugs, and moves towards Skyfighter 199, "I hope all my preparations are in vain, but... Ezekiel *knows* where the ranch is... and without someplace to go, we are sitting ducks."
Pyotr Zagadka catches the vocoder and eyes the device a moment.. before slipping it on like a choker and sighing. "No no, you are right Heather. We need a backup. I am sure you have a personal stash and fallback somewhere you have not told anyone about. I do. But we need backup for everyone as well."
Heather O'Leary smiles, "I do have a little place up in the mountains, with enough for me and Elizabeth to last for years...." She pauses as she gets to the Skyfighter, pressing a sequence to unlock and unseal the hatch. Before she boards, she pulls out a vial of medicine, and injects herself quickly. She knows Pyotr will see, but if she does not take some pain medicine, mixed with a muscle relaxer, she will never be able to act naturally during this mission, and that might be required.
Pyotr Zagadka quietly follows behind her, pulling himself into the Skyfighter as well. He pays NO attention whatsoever to the administration of pain meds.. mainly because he knows that he's gonna get an earful from Lizzie if she finds out.. /WHEN/ she finds out. "Mine is little further away but also well stocked. Not as good as holdout back home, of course. But good enough."
Heather O'Leary takes a couple deep breaths, than moves onto the Skyfighter, after Pyotr.
Settling into the pilot's chair, Pyotr fiddles with is helmet before he starts going through pre-flight check. Yes, it's heavily automated but he is a stickler for making sure everything is optimal.
Heather O'Leary moves to the co-pilot seat, and sits down. She is going to let Pyotr fly. She pulls out a map, even though she doesn't really need it, and says, "My thoughts, Edwards Air Force Base, San Clemente Naval Testing Air Field, and El Toro Marine Air Base. All of them have facilities to hide our aircraft in, all have enough room to house our people in, and all are abandoned, last time I flew over."
Heather O'Leary is sitting in the co-pilot seat, and Pyotr is in the pilot seat. Both are dressed in Visitor Uniforms. Heather says to Pyotr, "My thoughts, Edwards Air Force Base, San Clemente Naval Testing Air Field, and El Toro Marine Air Base. All of them have facilities to hide our aircraft in, all have enough room to house our people in, and all are abandoned, last time I flew over." Her voice reverberates like a Visitor.
Krieger got the call late..or he was trying to figure how to make him self look proper because he almost falls in as he tugs helplessly at the hijacked uniform. "It itches." He says as a means to cover it up as he rubs a shin. "I feel like I'm about to end up in some Jules Vernes inspired trip to the moon Black and White."
Pyotr Zagadka is going through the pre-flight, nodding slowly as he makes sure everything is in the green. or whatever color that Visitors use to signify things are a good. "Good old post-cold war military build down." he mumbles. He looks over his shoulder as Thomas enters and chuckles. "Not moon. Not this time." he says with a wicked grin.
"Oh, so you *did* hear me?" Heather asks, while glancing back at Thomas. She motions him to have a seat, at the rear gunners station, and than adds, "There is a vocoder on the arm of that chair. It will make your voice sound like a Visitor's." She turns back to Pyotr, and smiles, "Well, I was stationed at El Toro... There are some interesting underground facilities... San Clemente is an Island, and Edwards... well, it was a Top Secret Research Facility. Test site for many things, or so I heard."
Krieger gets new toys to go with the absolutely silly looking outfit? Oh how wonderful, seriously, for what he normally wears, it is comically out of place to see him in this. "Wait, are we stealing things from Edward's Airfield?" He suddenly asks after he settles in.
Pyotr Zagadka raises a brow as he looks to heather. "Top Secret, huh? Like as in 'Shipped Body of Roswell Aliens To Edwards Air Force Base' top secret?" he asks, then grins. "Island would be too conspicuous.. though we should keep in mind.. In /my/ mind, Edwards or El Toro. I know a little of each.. more of Edwards because of Conspiracy theories and fact it was a Nuke target."
Heather O'Leary nods, "I know El Toro *much* better, I spent a few years there, learning to fly Blackhawks and Harriers." She looks back at Thomas, "We are looking for potential backup bases. If something ever happens to the Ranch, we will need a place to set up shop. Better to find one now, than when we are running from the Visitors."
Krieger just settles in..he's in the back..Liz always naps back here. "I wouldn't mind Edwards, at least we could hide any thing in the jungle of parts, projects, and buildings..and for all we know, they have like, laser cannons we designed and no one mentioned and Pyotr can find us a new super fighter for you that won't fall apart when you kick it and over G the targeting pod."
Pyotr Zagadka is finally complete with the pre-flight and he grasps the controls, easing back on them to lift the Skyfighter off the ground. "Besides.. Edwards base is much larger Than El Toro.. and too notorious. Is where they tested Space Shuttle flight characteristics and where they also did tests for B-2 and F-117-A... or so I have put together." he says a bit too innocently. Then he looks at Thomas and makes a face. "if I wanted super-fighter I would dredge Lake Ontario for Avro Arrow."
Heather O'Leary shrugs, slightly, "I think Edwards is too likely being watched by the Visitors. If they believe *half* the rumors out there, they might actually be occupying Edwards..." She leans back in the co-pilot's seat, and lets her eyes close.
Krieger grunts a bit, maybe he just wanted to see Edwards! "It's a shame none of us are generals or some thing. We could kidnap one of our generals imprisoned down here and see if they know about some of the secret Cold War Shelters." He points out..you know, more rumors. "Pyotr..if it's in the bottom of a lake, how is it that super?"
Pyotr Zagadka pulls the skyfighter up and then out of the barn's wide doors, grinning a little as he flies low until the reach the hills. "Avro Arrow was Canadian jet fighter prototype in 1950's. Far ahead of time. But because United States wanted Canada to be subordinate to them they forced newly elected conservative Canadian government to scrap project as part of mutual defense treaty and lease fighters from America. Avro Arrow had flight capabilities that would not be surpassed until US built f-15." he tells him. Then he looks at Heather. "So.. we overfly Edwards, Da. But El Toro is sounding better and better."
Heather O'Leary nods slightly, "Edwards might be too hot, we can always drop in, if it doesn't look too busy, and check it out... El Toro should be empty, and San Clemante is more of a third, although maybe a second option. El Toro would be my first choice... I know the base, very well, and I think I might be able to remember the access codes to the underground hangars... Not that there would be any aircraft left in them, but they would provide us a better, and almost impenetrable hiding place for our air and space craft." Of course, getting the aircraft to the location would take some fancy flying. But she doesn't say that out loud.
Krieger is just going to put his feet up per say..well he's stretching out. "How does Liz sleep in this chair?" He questions outloud and twists to look forward from where he is. "You know, we -could- try to find a cargo ship, and use that too. I mean...Helos..their spacecraft, they don't need runways..and the Harrier can't fly because some one broke it." He says in a teasing tone..and isn't even sure how Pyotr knows that stuff about Canada. "Pyotr...not to bring up the typical propaganda of my Youth..but are you -sure- you weren't a KGB spy?"
Pyotr Zagadka chuckles as he brings the ship over the hills and then starts gaining altitude, slipping into the proper flight path. "Biggest Pro for El Toro, heather, is you have experience with location. Is your, how you say, home turf." he tells her, then the previous chuckle turns into a slight laugh. "Nyet, Thomas. I was not KGB though I am sure I worked on some projects for them In university. My Grandfather was on their watch list, though.. All scientists who were in Sputnik Program were."
"Thomas... Not now, OK? Not about the Harrier. Besides, the Hind wasn't going anywhere, last I looked." Heather slowly opens her eyes, and glances out the forward 'window'. "We should be comin..." The radio crackles to life, "Unidentified Skyfighter, bearing 180 degrees, moving towards Edwards Air Force Base, Identify yourself." a Male Visitor voice speaks from the radio.
Krieger would have had a comment if it wasn't for the fact they just got made and things aren't so playful any more. Well, time to check his station to make sure it isn't about to prove to be offline then !
Pyotr Zagadka sighs and his hands clench on the controls as he looks over at Heather. "Hopefully latest codes fifth column provided you are still in effect." he says to her.
Heather O'Leary reaches for the radio transmitter, nodding to Pyotr, "Yeah...." She keys the transmitter, and speaks into it, "This is Skyfighter 199, we are a recon flight from Phoenix. Commander Brandon ordered us to fly along the Dust Line, and than scout some Human Military Bases on our way back. Authorization Codes: Hz'rk, Kz'nk, kr'nk" The last three words come out very painful sounding, in Sirian, and she winces after speaking the words.
Shortly, the Male Visitor voice returns, "Acknowledged, Skyfighter 199, you are cleared to proceed."
Krieger waits till he hears all clear sounded for them and grins, giving a Thumbs up at Heather.
Pyotr Zagadka winces at the Sirian as well. "Good thing you know Russian.. Helps to already speak guttural language." he says quietly even after she has turned off the mike. "SO we are clear.. and Edwards is most sure not on list any more so... El Toro next.. You will need to direct me, Heather."
Heather O'Leary nods, "Edwards is out." She says softly, "Due south, about 142 miles, as the crow flies... If you pick up the speed to mach, we can be there in 12 and a half minutes."
Krieger coughs quietly when she mentions that. "May I suggest if we are meant to look like a Recce flight, to not go full burn? We should probably zig zag a bit, and you know..pretend we are in fact, doing recce."
Pyotr Zagadka nods and pushes on the control sticks, leaning into them. "Da.. Accelerating now.. Smooth as baby's bottom." he says with a grin. He looks over at Krieger and frowns now. "I.. am not sure. Heather?"
Heather O'Leary chuckles, "We were doing a recon of the Dust Line, which we are well below now, and a full burn in this thing is Mach 3. Mach 1 is just a Sunday Drive in the park." She winces a little, after she chuckles, and her hand presses against her lower abdomen, but otherwise, she just shakes her head. "Besides, we are out of the Phoenix Mothership, we should act like we want to get back to it sooner, rather than later."
Krieger grunts a bit and moves to make a sweep with the controls in front of him. "Well...alright. As long as We can actually -see- things on the ground at that speed with the instruments."
Pyotr Zagadka relaxes some and looks ahead, eyes forward, as he pilots the Skyfighter in the direction Heather has given. "Okay dokay. South as crow flies. Which is odd saying but okay." While he is not a MILITARY pilot, he is confident at the controls. Then again he was one of the companions at the beginning of the first invasion who had been trained to assist the 'benevolent' Visitors who had come to be our 'Friends'. "You know.. I could teach you to fly one of these, Thomas."
Heather O'Leary says softly, "I've been flying at Mach for a long time. It's not hard to figure out what you are looking for." She glances at the co-pilot sensors, and says softly, "10 minutes, or so... Oh, and Thomas can fly one of these... He flew me back from Arizona."
Krieger grins at Pyotr when Heather steps up to the plate for him per say. "I've been flying longer then either of you, I got enough airs logged to probably compare to some of the German aces in the second world war. Not nearly as many splashes, but then again..we haven't had as many planes to shoot at.."
Pyotr Zagadka snorts and shakes his head. "That's what happens when you have no competition, Thomas. You stagnate." he teases his american friend. Then he becomes quiet as he concentrates on the sky, closing on on their target. Only once breaking his silence to mutter something about wishing he had a GPS."
Heather O'Leary says softly, "You fly choppers, though. I fly jets... Flew. Speed is the difference there." She motions to the Interstate below, "Follow I-15, for awhile. We'll turn South West at Corona. In about 7 minutes, and be 60 seconds from El Toro..." She makes no mention of how many planes, or Skyfighters, or even *Motherships* she has shot down, mostly because she has lost track. Except for the Mothership. She will never forget shooting that one down...
Krieger lifts an eyebrow when she points out he flew choppers. "I'll have you know I flew -other- things when I retired from the marine corp. Damn kids, thinking I don't understand what a jet is. Back in my day I'm sure we had to fly biplanes against the Red Baron."
Pyotr Zagadka snorts.. containing a laugh and shakes his head. "Now now, children.. if not be good, I will make you walk home." he jests.. then furrows his brow a little. "We are on Final Approach, Heather. You want just fly over? Or to land?" he asks.
Heather O'Leary rolls her eyes, "Back in *your* day, Old Man, you had to hand crank the props..." She turns to Pyotr, "Better land... We need to see what it looks like from the ground. See if anyone is using the place..."
Krieger scowls a bit, he had some visitor sidearm, because you know, disguise, and now he'll sound like one. "If we get shot, one of us better remain conscious to fly back." He says, looking pointedly at Heather. "Like say, you stay behind me and Pyotr?" Oooh, he's concerned!
Pyotr Zagadka nods to Heather and looks for a good place to set down. And he finds one, not far from a small complex of hangars and buildings. Then he looks over at Thomas and almost chokes. "I hope you are saying that because she is still injured and not because she is a woman." he says, mock seriously. HE is sure it is the first reason, not the second.. he hopes.
Heather O'Leary sighs, "In my current condition, I *can't* fly. I can't put enough pressure on the pedals, to control the pitch..." She sighs, "So if anyone is staying behind someone, it'll need to be one of you two. However, since we *are* wearing Visitor Uniforms, and the armor built into them is fairly good... unless we get made by Visitors, or someone with Teflon coated bullets, we'll be fine."
Krieger shakes his head a bit when Pyotr mentions the female. "Yes, because she got hit hard..and I wasn't aware you couldn't fly again yet. Did you -sneak- out of the infirmary to get in on this Heather?" See? Using her proper name as he shifts. "I should get Teflon Bullets, why don't we have those.." he muses.
Pyotr Zagadka remains silent about the WHOLE sneaking out of the infirmary thing since that would make him a WILLING accomplice. So.. NOPE. The Skyfighter comes in for a landing and the *CLUNK* of the gear settling on the pavement can be felt.
Heather O'Leary shakes her head, "No. I did not sneak out of the Infirmary." Off the ranch, that is a different matter altogether. "And yes, you *should* get some Teflon coated ammo. The Ranch's armory is full of it, it is the best we have for cutting through the Visitor Armor." She stands up, wincing a little. She reaches into the breast piece of the Shock Trooper Armor she is wearing again, and pulls out another pre-filled syringe. She injects this into her arm, and drops the syringe onto the console, for pickup when they get back. Just a slight more pain medicine, and she is ready to go.
Krieger shakes his head a bit at them both. "Liz is going to -kill- me for this. Both of you almost died, and I get on the ship as the only one in proper condition." He says and moves to check his laser pistol's charge before they disembark!
Heather O'Leary flips the switch on the hatch, and moves to the side of the Skyfighter, "What she doesn't know, won't kill either of us." She leads the way off the craft, and onto the ground of the El Toro Marine Air Station.
Krieger -really- hopes this voice thing doesn't fail half way through. "I don't suppose they held OpFor here?" he asks Heather if it looks like they can talk about nice human things and not be shot for it.
Heather O'Leary shakes her head, "No. Just a normal Marine Air Base. Flew F/A-18's and Harriers." She glances around, seeing no signs of movement. She motions to one set of buildings, "Let's go check Officer's Country... Nicest living area on the base." Not likely to be well furnished anymore, since the base has been decommissioned for 6 and a half years.
Krieger wishes he had brought a crowbar. "Might still be some scotch hidden in the PX." He says with a grin and remembers the last base he was on. "You know, we totally had a still in the officer's showers at one point."
Heather O'Leary rolls her eyes, and pushes the door of the first building open. It opens into a long, dark hallway...
Krieger moves to slowly slip his laser pistol out so it is in hands. "Pardon me for trying to have fond memories." He says to her in a quiet hiss and listens.
Heather O'Leary reaches for a switch on the inside of the door, like she owns the place. Mainly to maintain the cover that they are Visitors, and she says, "Make new memories... They say the memory is the first to go, so you had better make new ones, old man." The lights in the hallway do not come on.
Krieger could have -guessed- the lights don't come on and he hisses quietly. "The Scalies can see in the dark, can't they?" Like if they can..this might be a problem!
Heather O'Leary nods, "A Little better than we can," is her soft reply. She shrugs, and moves forward, into the dark hallway, her left hand rests on her holstered sidearm, but she does not draw it yet.
Krieger follows her, she's the one who knows this place well. "One thing that stands out to me..the Scalies never try to blend in with us all that well. They stand apart..I mean even the ones with us. Ever wonder why they don't try and infiltrate more of human society?"
Heather O'Leary says softly, her voice still reverberating, "They can't infiltrate very well. Their voices are a dead giveaway..." She lets her eyes adjust to the dear pitch black darkness, and moves to the first door in the hallway, and lets her right hand move to open it.
Krieger presses up to the wall so he can cover the side of the room she can't see as she opens the door. "Sure, but with all their technology..why not just change their voice?"
Heather O'Leary waits to answer, until after the door is open, and she has checked the room, empty. "Most of their real technology, is militaristic in nature. And they are not a subtle species... Even their taking Human-looking disguises, not really a subtle move. It was more of a Sledgehammer approach to subterfuge, and a lot of people saw through it, early enough, that we were able to push them back once. We will do it again." She moves to the next door, but before she can open it, it opens, and a human boy, of about 16 stands in the door way, holding a candle, and his eyes wide in shock at the Visitors.
Krieger levels his sidearm, but he doesn't fire. History lesson out, he'll just act like Heather is the one in charge..unless you know, the kid tries to attack them. He isn't sure if there's Lizards who can pull off looking like a human!
The boy says softly, "Humans? Or?" He points up.
Heather just shrugs, and says, "Either, both."
The boy frowns, and drops his candle, running down the hall, and out the exit 30 feet from them.
Krieger glances at Heather when she makes the boy flee! "So...if there's a bunch of refugees here..this base is a no go?"
Heather O'Leary shrugs, "Refugees? No reason for them to stop us. We could easily come in, dressed as Visitors, and scare them out, or come in as the Resistance, recruit them all, and swell our ranks. The only thing that would stop me from using this place as a base is the presence of Visitors." She motions Thomas down the hall. "Let's check the Hangars, outside. See if there is anything inside to be concerned with. You take the northern set, I'll take the southern."
Krieger sighs a bit, it's not clear if he dislikes the idea of scaring people off, or if he dislikes recruiting so many unknowns. "Heather..it may not be smart to split up.." He says, gesturing at her side a bit where she was holding it earlier. "I don't want to get yelled at for helping you escape -and- letting you get shot. We should really stick together."
Heather O'Leary sighs, "We could cover more ground, and get back to base quicker... but fine." She moves towards the end of the hall. She does not, quite, radiate the words 'I'm fine', but she sure would like to.
Krieger wouldn't listen any how, he knows she is less then fine, and he looks ready to sprint in front of her if things go wrong. "I hate to say it..I wish I had Pyotr's jury rigged cannon in case we -do- run into trouble."
Heather O'Leary just shrugs, and opens the exit door, and walks across the tarmac to the first row of Hangars. She looks inside.
Krieger is at least familiar with hangers, so that's some thing. "Think they kept any thing but MPs here when they closed down?" he asks quietly.
Heather O'Leary shakes her head, "I doubt it. Likely transferred everything down to Miramar." The Hangar is empty, and Heather moves on to the next.
Krieger is keeping his eyes open for the kid..or any one who was here -with- the kid. "What if that kid comes back with the locals who -shoot- at us?"
Heather O'Leary sighs, "We get the hell out. No need for a shoot out with the local Resistance." The next hangar shows signs that at some time, someone was sleeping in here, but nothing recent.
Krieger has theories, he won't state out loud on how well that plan might go. "Shame they didn't leave a message in Officer Country or some thing. Some way to let them know we are friendly."
Heather O'Leary shrugs, and continues to move along, checking each hangar, and finding no other sign of recent occupancy. "Let's head back to the Skyfighter..."
Krieger will look around one last time for the kid...maybe surprised he hasn't followed. "Sure...think this might be a decent hide out?" he asks her.
Heather O'Leary nods, "It has potential..."
Krieger just grunts a bit. "At least we can have -a lot- more rooms for privacy." He says and muses. "I could totally get a hammock in some out of the way place and you can tell the children of the Resistance about the cranky old man who runs the armory."
An arched eyebrow and, "Actually, Alexis runs the armory, Thomas." Heather comments, as she climbs aboard the Skyfighter.
The last while, for Pyotr, has been uneventful. He has kept watch as best as he can using the sensors available and not seen much at all. When the pair of marines, old and new, return he nods to them. "Everything was quiet on my end."
Krieger follows her aboard and makes a face at her back when she isn't looking. "Well, if we move into a proper military base, the armory gets a lot bigger. So I think two of us could handle it. Sides, children should fear old people. We're tough as roots. We just forget because of old age and all." Krieger seems defeated in trying to get a laugh out of Heather.
Heather O'Leary is not really in the mood to laugh, besides, laughing causes pain, and she hates being in pain. She slips into the co-pilot's seat, and says softly, "Looks clear, other than one boy, about 16, who ran off." She shrugs, "Quick flyby of San Clemente, and than, Mach 3 West for an Hour, than take us home..."
Pyotr Zagadka frowns at the mention of the boy... whom he never saw. But then nods and presses the button to close the hatch. "San Clemente it is.. then three hours west.. Then back home. For me to be yelled at." he says with at least a bit of humor. "Will probably be a week before Angelica kisses me again." he grumps.
Krieger goes to retake his seat at the rear turret and go back to watching it's display. "Claim you were driven mad by the pain killers. Both of you broke out, I was the only one not in the infirmary. This means I need to lie and cover up for both of you, right?"
Heather O'Leary says softly, as her eyes close, "Just don't tell her... if no one asks... we won't get yelled... at..." She seems to almost drift off to sleep. Likely a result of the extra pain killers she has taken.
Pyotr Zagadka snorts and looks at Kreiger. "Comrade.. I will not lie to My Angel. Besides, she is woman.. and women, regardless of species, know when men lie. And if man thinks otherwise.. well.. he's not too bright to begin with. And I am VERY bright." he says with a lopsided smirk and lifts the fighter off the ground.. and then looks at Heather as she sort of drifts. "Rest, /tovarishcha/... Just rest."
Krieger is so getting in trouble, Hello. Liz, Julie? Yes, I let Heather take a random pain killer and lead us on a Recce mission, and I let Pyotr fly! Oh this can end so well. "That's why you find a survival bunker and hide in it Pyotr, only way to be safe."
Heather O'Leary doesn't sleep, but she dozes. Her eyes open every few minutes, during the flight.