Skye Rosalind Lyons
The scene turned to shit, as Skye got flanked by a couple more Artemis soldiers whilst pushing the flank of the ship, a bullet richocheting from Mateo's sniper rifle, slapping a bloody scene in front of her, as one other IFVs got hit with a missile. @Theyra
The two that were about to open up on Skye got pasted, and well, she was all glad for it."Cheers!"
Skye yelled out, as she turned the corner, another squad pinning her down and sending rounds flying, Skye not wanting to go into that hornet's nest. With a clutch of a flashbang, she riococheted it off one wall and headed to another, the squad ducking and yet Skye coming from the other angle, blasting the depleting rounds of her MG3 into the team, their armour no match for high-rate of fire, but still taking a stubbornly long time to do the deed. Coming back into cover, the sound of the Javelins slapping up the remaining two IFVs was a resounding crash-boom, even if one of the missiles had gotten intercepted.
It had made a rather nice mincemeat of the situation, and all that was left was the infantry massing around, making a situation left to deal with. That said, they had two heavies in the fight, and plenty of other force multipliers to throw back at the attack they were getting. Mateo had certainly picked off a number, Sam and Xan had turned the area into a killzone, and the heavies, well, they were doing what they were doing.
Soon though, even that had been subsided, the team chirping off and taking enemies down, left, right, and centre. It was going to be a bloody and brutal fight, and given the state of the team.
But eventually, they would get there, and the voice of the team's pilot came through, not just on Skye's radio, but on everyone's. A reassuring voice to say the least."Queen, Hawk is on station, is the LZ near your position clear, over?"
Vincent called out, the smooth, breezy tones of the Senegalese-Frenchman one for sore ears, the kind that indicated some sort of end at least."Affirm, Hawk. Good to hear your voice. Team, rally on me and break from the fight, let's get to the bird."
Skye called out, knowing that with things getting wrapped up, they needed to take their extract option whilst on station- and before they got attached again.
Skye was hurting all over, and the toll was beginning to feel. The noise of the distant V22, however, was somewhat of a reprieve, as she scanned her sector, and covering, spraying fire towards a group of soldiers as she knew the rest of the team were coming in. The fast approach of the V22 and the combat pass of the tiltrotor was skillful, given it had a sketchy as hell landing to make. But it made it all good, and all the well, they were finally able to get out of here. The V22's ramp opened, and with a bit of a walk through the sands, their window had been kept open. They were getting out. Skye would be the last to board, and the first to go to the front of the aircraft, walking through the frame and finding a jump-seat close to the pilot, checking the team with a silent look."A pretty shit day in the office, ah Queen?"
The dulcet tone of Vincent Cisse, pilot extraordinare was nice to hear through her headset, as he looked into the back, seeing Skye walk in, the blood and dust covered face of Skye making her usual charm and beauty, her red hair and blue buff turn to a shade of brown and dark crimson, her hair completely lost in the chaos of war.
Skye simply leant back and sighing, feeling the pain in her ribs get tighter, as she took her helmet off, exhaling hard, the blood visible from the cut on her forehead, and it began to pour a little more now the pressure had been pulled off from her half-cut helmet being away. She checked the squad was in one last time, before looking forwards, her voice croaking a little. The team had taken fire all the way out, but they had made it out, just about, as the tiltrotor took off."Get us home."
Kaitiaki Homestead, Raven HQ
Rangitoto ki te Tonga / D'Urville Island,
South Island, Aotearoa / New Zealand
Skye sat nursing a couple of broken ribs that was just part and parcel with hurting the way she had on that mission- like a drum getting hit a bit too hard, the explosion had certainly decided to hurt rather than fuck up any internal organs. She'd come off well- what with the piece of shrapnel that Xan had got, and the hurt that Sam felt, yeah, it could have been worse. But still, it sucked and in the aftermath, was holding her back from going for a run. Doctor's orders.
Like that was stopping her from enjoying the view, the office and her late night working away, well, now switching to a book. A Scottish crime novel, like well, that was escapism that would work. But she had forced it. A reluctant thing, a luxury she had to have, something to take her constantly spinning mind engaged. She had to do something, and some triviality always kept her mind off things. Skye was a real throb deep down, beyond the facade of the hardened team leaders, as she sipped her Earl Grey down a little, her grey t-shirt and blue jeans contrasting against her now tidied crimson-coloured hair and piercing eyes. This place really was becoming like home, and her solace this afternoon and evening had been rather jolly, to say the least. A light legs session in the gym, getting her gear back together, a debrief with Oracle, it had been busy. Now this, paperwork and her book.
The uranium had been secured at a separate drop-off so it could to go into the IAEA's hands and into disposal, and it had been a day and a half to get back to New Zealand- so to say the least a mixture of jet lag and admin was certainly enough to wear the most seasoned operative out. Thankfully, they weren't quite alone when it came to the ops that took the wind out of their sails- and Skye was glad to know they weren't completely home alone.
The support team had gotten to know Skye in various forms. From Sophie, who she'd passed by after the rest of the team had, to Raphael, who was now trying to figure out why they'd been hacked. There was Javi, who was pissed his DPVs hadn't come back, but then again, Skye had underwritten him something else to work on...something she knew would soon be keeping him very busy, but only if he kept it a secret. So alas, the team had a few interactions to make, both with their support crew and between themselves.
For this moment however, Skye had the team's lodge-keeper visiting, the person who looked like they preferred the clutch of a .50 cal rifle rather than an office and logistics orders. Skye seemed to at least acknowledge her, knowing the Kiwi was as straight as she was, albeit with an antipodal charm to the Highlander.
"You still working late, boss?" Tahlia asked, poking her head through Skye's open door, the dusk sky turning pink, almost glowing the last remaining bit of light onto the green pasture-like hills. Her voice had a slight Southlander charm to it, rural and husky, and a fitting opposite to Skye Lyons. She thought she'd hate the figure that Skye cut, but rather more than anything, saw some common ground. Perhaps a taste of a life to support, given Tahlia wasn't exactly fit to fight."Reading. It's a wee novel. I guess I got bored of working late."
Skye's response was succinct as she put the book down, Tahlia's demeanour in her polo shirt and cargo trousers looking casual as would be unexpected for someone working in a formal position, yet something exemplifiying the nature of the base here. The calmed down, chilled measure of the site. "You know, for the person I thought would laugh their way through a broken rib, working late to cope isn't one. You're a workaholic, ain't ya?""Yeah, well sometimes shite happens. We had a lot to go through. In fact, you know, if half the squad wasn't hurting and there's some...ahh, never mind."
Skye sighed, adjusting her position in the chair, her lungs hurting against the bandages underneath, as she adjusted her position, before replying to Tahlia again. ""You got what I was looking for?"
Skye knew that the team could be spared their end of it tonight, after all, what had happened had happened. It was on Skye to be responsible here, give them some reprieve from that at least."I got the supplies. And you already started looking at your next gig with what I got in that state?" "I think we're all hurting. But Oracle saw an opportunity, and Raph thinks it's legit. So may as well take a wee little chance and poke at them.""That dress you ordered is the lest Skye Lyons thing I've ever seen though. Crikey, you really sure?""I'm no' gonna sneak my way in. So may as well try something else."
Skye replied, a lick of a smirk on her face, knowing she hadn't revealed the plan yet, well, not until they were feeling a little better. They had time, but hey, Skye knew she wasn't going to be fighting the next time they went out to go get intelligence. At least, she hoped not."You better bring that thing back intact. Whatever you're gonna do."
Tahlia looked still bemused, but almost confident enough to give shit to the base's real commander, the fact that Skye held some clout here probably. "Righto, boss, that should be it. Got replacements for any damaged kit, and a few upgrades too. The team certainly will be impressed.""Good, good. You've earned a beer. Or whatever that Kiwi brew yous drink."
Skye replied, satisfied as ever, glad at least that wasn't something to worry about."That beer is good stuff, you really should try it soemtime. On that note, see ya. Don't work too late."
With that, Tahlia headed out of the office, Skye exhaling as she played everything back, standing up out of her seat, looking out of the window at the dying of the light.
It had been a lot. A lot to take in. For starters, they'd been hacked. The fuckers had broken a very critical link, and whilst no data or anything had been hit, it had been enough of a shock to the system to make her rethink a lot of things. They'd started to underestimate Artemis, what they were capable of, and how well armed and equipped they were. They weren't backing down, Aral was a message, perhaps something worse.
But they had time. No more nuclear material in the wild, and a significant amount of weapons, ammo and explosives had been destroyed. The other big positive was that the contact had been identified, and he certainly was an interesting fellow to go make some enquires with, once the time came. The world was a safer place for a little while longer.
For a few more days.
Thinking of that, Skye took the small case across the desk, and with it, walked out of the office, and walked on down the stairs to the rec room, passing through the corridors, standing tall as always, if not a little hurt. It would take time to heal, but then again, she was never one to back down. Two days, she said to herself, and she was going back at it again. Against any doctor's orders. She wasn't one to stay cooped up.
Coming into the rec room, Skye slouched down onto a couch, and reaching across the table, uncomfortable as it felt, managed to unclasp the case, opening it up and revealing a cherry-red fiddle, and a horse-strung bow, petite in her hardened, calloused hands, her arms hurting to take the thing but needing to.
Pulling the fiddle to shoulder, Skye stayed sitting down as she looked into the night sky and sea, the sun now past the horizon now, hiding and going out of sight. The sinews of the strings hurt, the vibration itself echoing into her shoulder, yet the music, it soothed away. And what felt like pain whittled away as she continued to play, the sound emanating from the fiddle filling the rec room's interior. It was soulful, almost enriching music, the kind that felt like home. A home she'd never really seen properly in a while. Maw, she hadn't seen in a few years, but she was ok, last she remembered. Getting better. No siblings to look after her bar a few family friends. Shit, was this was it led to? A life like this? It felt odd, yet as far as home could be, the strings brought her back to the Highland glens, the mountains, the fresh, cold air that would fill her now expanding chest pushing against ribs in recovery.
But the fiddle felt like it healed, and in spite of the pain, she played on, to herself, or any audience, it didn't matter. She just enjoyed it, indulged, and filled the quiet void of the evening with a warm, silky aural depth that only sought to reinforce the pink sunset and mountainous isles outside. It was a relief all its own, and she hoped the rest of the team had enjoyed their evening too.Fiddle