Going Solo


elisabeth2_icon.gif gavyn_icon.gif

Scene Title Going Solo
Synopsis With Elisabeth heading things at headquarters, things go from comfortably dull to unnervingly exciting on Gavyn's first solo assignment
Date November 28, 2010

South Staten Island

Description of location, if any.

The team is scattered to the four winds today. With the excessive cold — the highs are barely in the teens — it behooved Elisabeth to stay behind for the first time and play 'coordinator' from the base. Given that she's walking about with pneumonia, it's not like she's on top of her game much anyway. She has a variety of screens that are being monitored with people's vitals on them, camera views from the Horizon helmets, and even some satellite views of certain areas. It occurs to her how damn easy it would be to get lost in the idea that she knows better than anyone else with this view. It's filed away in the back of her head, though as she monitors one particular screen more closely than the others.

It's Gavyn Mitchell's first solo run in the armor, and although it's supposed to be something of a cake walk — well… we all know the best laid plans of mice and men.

The situation on the street is not particularly dire. This section of south Staten Island has plenty of backup available and all the teams are doing is clearing what should be empty structures. Gavyn's got four National Guardsmen that she's backing up, and they're doing most of the heavy lifting, kicking in the doors and such. She's mostly for deterrent purposes. Boredom!

Except as the foursome approaches the house they're in the process of clearing, two bursts of automatic gunfire come blasting out of the windows on either side of the front door, sending the men scrambling backward.

The opportunity to go out solo, in armor, was a welcomed one. Things had been relatively quiet since the riots, and this was suppose to be business as usual. It was easily something Gavyn felt she was ready for, knowing that she could operate through on her own. It's just clearing buildings, after all. What could go possibly go wrong?

The arrival was fairly uneventful. In fact, the whole exercise was looking to be boring. Stand here, watch for anything unwanted while those guys break things down. Which is good, mind, it means everyone'll go home that night. But on the same token, sometimes finding something can be a welcomed sight. Such as uncovering refugees who wanted to be found, or discovering a litter of kittens. Just a small reward to make you feel like you did a job well done.

Kittens would have been preferable to what Gavyn and the group of Guardsmen found. With the first sounds of gunfire, shock and adrenaline spike through her core yet she fights against instict to return her own fire. Her aim isn't to kill, not yet. She aims above the windows to creat a distraction. Only a few rounds are squeezed off, aimed to break up some wood and drywall in warning and draw attention to her.

As always when gunfire erupts, there's a whole lot of 'Oh fuck!' from the four soldiers who had been in the lead. They split up, finding cover as Gavyn's rounds send the shooters inside scrambling as well.

In the control room, Elisabeth has to control her own adrenaline spike, telling the tech quietly, "See if she can get a better look. Her HUD is IR equipped, but she may not be able to get a clear enough picture to see how many." She moves to set down the tea she was drinking as she listens to the Guardsmen shouting at one another over the radio. Higgins, Farlow, take the back. We'll take front with Mitchell!" Because, you know, she's a human shield in that armor unless they've got a tank in there.

As the fire from inside comes to a halt, Gavyn lowers her the muzzle of her rifle and lets out a shaking breath. Okay, not so bad. Certainly she's been through worse. Her eyes take in the lay of the land between herself and the team, quickly considering options. There aren't many, some cover to the right in the form of a low wall. Possibly something with a tree to the left. Better than nothing.

As she begins walking toward the structure directly ahead, Gavyn spares a look to the Guardsman giving an order. "You two flank, but keep away from those windows," she tells them. "They start firing again, get low and to those corners." A look over her shoulder includes the other two in that plan. Her head turns forward again, hands checking the seat of her gun against her shoulder, and her pace picks up enough that the others will have to jog to keep up with her.

They company is nearly upon the house when the shots ring out again, sending the standard soldiers scrambling to positions assigned just moments before. This, as she'd expected, leaves Gavyn to draw fire upon herself once more. Unfortunately she has to put her back to one window in order to cover the other. A two-shot volley replies to the window at the left, to send them scattering, while she lets the others, hopefully, waste ammo on her back. She'll get to them in a minute.

The Horizon armor is pretty amazing. Yeah, sure… it's like being kicked in the back by a pissed-off mule. But Gavyn manages to keep her feet, at least, braced against the wall as she is. The Guardsmen look more than a little alarmed, and the Lieutenant in the lead of that lot waits only long enough for his men to get to the cover Gavyn directed before he's popping up from behind that wall and hollering, "DUCK!" to Gavyn herself.

The man's got a portable grenade launcher to his shoulder, and he barely gives her time to move before he's firing the thing.

Thank goodness for the armor. Gavyn braces against the shots that hit her back, though there's no pretending not to notice. "Too bad it's not more like a deep tissue massage," she mutters, preparing to fire off another two rounds at the left side window.

The shout from the Lieutenant halts any further shots from Gavyn. In fact, her own eyes going wide at the sight of the grenade launcher. "Fuck," is about all the Frontline officer manages to get out before she's dropping to the ground. Still, she feels the ballistic go overhead and the concussive, explosive force when it impacts the front wall of the building. If not for the weight of the Horizon armor, she'd likely have been sent flying several yards rather than slid several feet.

The dust is still settling when Gavyn climbs to her feet again, a little unsteady after the force from the grenade, but no worse for the wear. Her head shakes, a swimmer trying to clear the water from his head though she's trying to rid the ringing in her ears, rifle raised to cover the door. It's blessedly quiet at the moment. Hopefully whoever's still left inside is more dazed than she is. Keeping the gun trained on the doorway, she looks back to the company of Guardsmen, specifically the Lieutenant. And if her mask weren't shaded, she'd be glaring daggers at him. "That really necessary," Gav nearly shouts into the comms.

On the far end of the comms, Elisabeth is having to bite her own tongue to echo that through the comms. Jesus H. Christ! "Mitchell," she says through the headset, "the satellite can't give us a good read on how many you've got, but your own IR may." Her tone remains calm — we'll deal with the zealous Lieutenant later. Liz will let Gavyn smack the shit out of him.

For his part, the young man looks… quite stunned at the damage. It might be the first time he's ever seen real combat. He kind of shrugs sheepishly at Gavyn's query, the launcher lowering to the ground slowly. The two who were circling around toward the back of the house radio in, "All quiet in the rear! We're set."

Gavyn, if she were in any part villanous, might very well send that young officer in first, with her covering him. Instead she points a single finger at the Lieutenant. No, not that finger. She thrusts her pointer finger at him in warning. Then she turns back to the building.

"Yes, ma'am," Gav answers, still a little louder than necessary, but at least not shouting. Toggling the control, she switches on the infrared display while steps carry her into the building.

With gun and eyes, Gavyn sweeps left then right. Her display brings her three on the left, one which appears obviously dead from the explosion. A second is likely injured terribly. The third just sitting, difficult to make out what he's doing, but he seems very much alive. On the right are two, very much alive and opening fire as soon as they see the Frontliner step through the doorway. They must have seen the grenade launcher, too. Rat bastards.

Taken by surprise, Gavyn's armor is hit a dozen or more times before she's moved to return fire. Shots are aimed at shoulders, though with the damage from the grenade all she seems to do is generate more destruction and confusion.

The HUD in the control room shows Elisabeth exactly what's going on in as Gavyn steps into the house. And into the headset even as Gavyn starts to take fire, the blonde calls out, "Back door team, go go! Two men, north corner. One still alive south corner." She winces as Gavyn takes a dozen more rounds. Her armor's gotta be feeling like moving in a fucking plate-steel suit about now. But Gavyn's backup busts in the back door as soon as the call comes in. They sweep down the main hallway, clearing from the back forward to help her out.

One of the shooters is winged, the other takes a round full-on in the chest. He is apparently wearing kevlar, though, because although he's blown backward by the force of the bullet, he doesn't seem to be bleeding as he lands on the floor five feet further back.

There's only pause long enough to make sure she's not shooting her own people. Gavyn calls out as she begins slowly toward the kevlar vested man, "Disarm those still alive. If anyone else uses explosives, I'm leaving them on the island." She may just be serious. She leaves them to handle the three to the left while finishing the two on the right herself.

Heeding her own advice, Gavyn kicks the firearm away from the man she'd shot before he can fully lift it on her again. That leaves the one in the vest to deal with who manages to take another volly at her. Two shots ricochet off her helmet, three more strike solidly into her chest before she's able to take cover. The display back at base would be showing Gav's heartrate skyrocketing.

Gavyn takes a chance during a slim window of respite between volleys. She pokes around the destroyed wall and takes careful aim. If she can get this shot, the guy can live, be brought in with the others, everyone can go home happy. But the opportunity is lost almost as soon as it's found, Gav taking a second too long to make sure of her aim.

Two shots are fired, one from Gavyn's rifle, the other from the guy down. And both hit. Gav's helmet takes another ding, the fellow in kevlar…

Elisabeth realizes just how much she hates staying behind. Cuz … dammit, her adrenaline has nowhere to go in this. She remains quiet until the last of the gunfire stops. Gavyn's HUD is still broadcasting and she demands tightly, "Sitrep, Mitchell."

The two Guardsmen coming in the back door sweep where Gavyn told them to, kicking the last man who is still somewhat capable of fighting back in the back of the head to drop him where he sits. No prejudice there! Of the five, one is dead from the grenade, two wounded from the grenade, one wounded by Gavyn's rifle and the other…. is missing half his head. That sight brings Liz up short. Fuck. Mental note: Make sure Mitchell talks to someone when she gets back. Whether Liz or the shrink, doesn't matter.

All is quiet on Gavyn's end while she takes in status of the Guardsmen and their task. All this is shown back at headquarters, along with stats that show every fiber of herself is still alive. When she turns to survey her own assignment, the silence is broken by a shuddering breath. So much for not killing anyone else.

It only feels like time slows down, as Gavyn comes face to face with the ruins of that skirmish. But only a handful of seconds pass before the young woman is able to turn away. Another tight breath, wavering like the first. Gav stands in the midst of the destruction, stuck with reality. She's unable, even to move and assist with rounding up the survivors and clearing out the bodies.

Her jaw firms and Elisabeth puts her hands on the back of the tech's chair. Into the headset, she says in a calm, businesslike tone, "Mitchell, backup is on the way to help your team mop up. Report back to base for debrief." She'll be gentle with the woman when she gets here, but no one needs to know right now that Gavyn's losing her shit out there. "Lieutenant Barnes," she adds.

The young grenade tosser jumps and responds quickly, "Ma'am!"

"You will report to your immediate superior for a debrief as soon as the relief team shows up as well," Elisabeth informs him calmly. He looks about as shaky as Gavyn's vitals are making her out to be. "Good job, everyone," she says quietly, because it's all she can say.

Only after the backup team arrives will they come face-to-face with the understanding that there was a stockpile of automatic weapons beneath the building. It was being used to run guns out to the other end of Staten, and one of the men killed today is a runner well-known to the NYPD.

If only it had been kittens instead of men guns. "—Yes, ma'am," Gavyn manages to her instructions. She takes one passing look through the room, lingering again on the nearly headless man, before she makes her exit from the building. "Going off comms for a minute," she says quietly, unable to hide a sudden quaver in her voice. Kittens wouldn't have needed to be killed.

Gav's helmet comes off once she's outside and safely away from the others. A hand rubs over her head and face. Harder to say it was necessary when the it wasn't hordes of mindless people running at you. Harder still to justify a killing shot when there might have been another way to end the standoff. She keeps herself from losing it in those few minutes she's clear of her headgear, though it's with shaking hands and shallow breathing that her head is properly covered again. Well before transport returns for her.

The journey back to headquarters, for Gavyn at least, is a quiet one. She lets the sounds wash over her while she hides within her armor. She makes no attempt at conversation, woodenly responding to any attempts with a nod or head shake.

The return is as uneventful as the transport. Gavyn heads into the armory to drop off the heavy armor, unresponsive to the techs' attempts at playful banter over the scratches to the paint. They don't try too hard, for which Gav's greatful for. Then, sunglasses in place, she heads to the conference room to await the debriefing.

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