2019-11-14 - We Didn't Start This Fire


RESCUE is called in to help save lives when Montana wildfires rage out of control.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Thu Nov 14 00:00:00 2019
Location: Montana Wildfires

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Theme Song



It's a pretty standard day for science at RESCUE! Or security, depending on your job. It's still suprisingly warm for Fall, but there've been some days of rain here and there that have cooled things down more recently. There is, in fact, a large stormfront currently moving westward that's spending the last of its fury up near Oregon, Montana and California. (Washington remains dreary as well.)

At least, it is until there's an alert tone on the campus announcement systems, a pair of distinct, urgent chimes, followed by. "OVERWATCH to active status. All personnel to Overwatch command. Repeat, Overwatch personnel to Overwatch command. This is not a drill."

Posse and Roni's phones likewise lightly with a similar chime, displaying the same message, as well as sounding a slowly building in volume alarm until its dismissed. Just in case.

Nestled in her lab on the second floor of the Wellspring, Veronica is deeply into her creative juices, considering carefully a new attunement subsystem for the cybernetic implants she has been perfecting for years. The alarm sounds, and she startles slightly, looking around with an unfocused gaze through her glasses. She taps the commands to save all of her work, and orders, "Melissa, save recordings to working directory, this date, please. Initiate shutdown and lock." She then lifts her phone, keying in her code and biometrics simultaneously as the room shuts down all around her.

Only then does the good doctor acknowledge the alert and tuck her phone away. "Seal lab in thirty seconds, please." Roni offers, as she rolls for the doors that hiss open in front of her.

Veronica is going to be a while; even on wheels, it will still likely take her longer to get to Overwatch Command.

Overwatch's Chief of Security jolts awake from where she was sleeping in her quarters as her vision flashes a warning orange and the alarm echoes pierces the room. Yes, the hard-charging sergeant takes cat-naps.

From unconscious to fully armed and armored, it doesn't take the cyborg more than three minutes hoofing it through the security floor's secluded hallways, bypassing the busier paths of the public floor above. She arrives wide-eyed, faintly out of breath with all her armor panels attached, a pistol securely holstered to each hip… and an energy drink already pressed against her lips.

As a result, the people who reach the briefing room first are Posse and the standby Overwatch squad of ten, since the on call barracks area is in the same building. Toni, as it happens, is already there, having shucked her usual labcoat and casual clothes for a form fitting bodysuit that she often wears in the Patriot armor, her hair pulled back in a messy ponytail at the moment as she types on the computer attached to the main screen for the room.

Alert guys will notice that it's currently centered on Montana, specifically on a town labelled 'Seely Lake'. The feed next to it appears to be from news chopper a distance away. The sky is black with smoke. There's some murmuring and discussion among the rangers present, that cuts off when Posse arrives, the squad finding their seats, which gives Roni the time to arrive. If only she's taken Toni up on her underground jet sled attached to the clinic.

And finally Roni comes rolling in, shedding her white labcoat as she makes for her spot in the seating chart of the briefing space. Her phone lays in her lap, her fingers moving to fly over its surface as she starts power-up and self-check processes on the Augmenta armor, and then starts keying in destination coordinates and flight plan waypoints. "Sorry. I know I'm last to arrive. I hope you didn't wait for me?"

Posse lowers the drink from her mouth long enough to sweep a firm gaze across the room, ensuring her squad is quiet and attentive for what comes next. The cybernetic veteran has long-since earned her place above the rest of Overwatch, and the fact that she makes time to PT with the troops likely doesn't hurt.

Well, except for the odd nickname it engenders…

She smirks a little to see Toni *almost* dressed to travel and hides the expression by returning to her drink as Veronica rolls in. That's quorum enough. "You're just in time," Posse replies as her eyes flit to one corner, stopping an invisible timer before turning her attention towards the main screen. "What have we got?"

Toni says distractedly as she works, a few strands of purplish hair having escaped her bun to hang down against her cheek. "It's fine…we're waiting on Fire Captain MacKenzie anyway, he's got his hands full. Which is why he's calling us, I suspect, on behalf of the great state of Montana….oh, there he is."

She touches a button and an image of a man in a fireman's coat appears via a Skype picture. In the background, the skies are black, with an ominous distant red to the horizon. Behind him people are rushing around, several working frantically at a larger cargo chopper that appears to have caught fire at some point from the scorch marks. He looks harried and on edge.

"Doctor Ho, Doctor Kelsey. We've go ta problem and the governor's given me the go ahead to ask for help. We need it." he says in a clipped tone. "We've got a wildfire that's going out of control. Started in the park near here. We were evacuating the area, but the fire jumped three firebreaks and cut off Highway 83 people from around Seely Lake were evacuating. We've lost contact with a small convoy coming from a hospital nearby. We've been trying to open up a path for them but our main helitack caught an updraft and sucked fire into its engine…we're trying to get it up and running but we don't know where any survivors are to try and get other choppers to them. Even then, most of the response aircraft are already dealing with a wildfire in California…this one came out of nowhere. We need a response team that can go into that hell and either get people out or get them to safety long enough for us to get enough airlift there to get them out."

"Preload the entire swarm of Humblebees, and two relay attenae so the onboards can control them if I end up cut off." Veronica calls out, as she continues tapping out commands on her phone. "Toni, we're going to need Patriot's forcefield projection to protect and gather, and then I'll have to lift you and the whole bubble out at once." Then Roni turns towards Posse. "Change loadouts from riot gear non-lethals to firefighting, obviously. Foam canons, deionizing beams, cryolattice grenades. I'll equip the outer frame, so you can catch a ride on my back." And just like that, they're into problem-solving mode.

"Roger," Posse acknowledges tersely before turning to her subordinates. "Load up double medical supplies and air tanks, lace up your fire gear and every mask is leak-checked before you're on the plane. Let's go!" the cyborg instructs before turning back to Roni. "Need a push to your locker, Doc?"

The squaddies jump to their feat and head for the equipment room to grab their firefighting gear, as Toni says. "I've got a cargo plane at the airport ready to transport, but it'll be a couple hours behind us. We're going to need to go on ahead if we want to get there faster. We'll have to just fly in armor." She nods to the fire captain. "We're enroute now…should be there in a bit under an hour at full thrust, with our support coming in about an hour after. We'll contact you when we're close for updated info on what you've got." MacKenzie nods. "We'll have it. Don't spare the horse, we need you ASAP if we're going to save these people." He taps a button and the video screen closes, as Toni trots over to where the patriot armor is, snagging the helmet and setting it aside, before it smoothly unfolds so she can back into it, then reseals, with her picking up the helmet and pulling it down to seal, the optics glowing to life. "Catching a ride with Augmenta again?" she asks Posse as she moves to follow the pair.

"You get the rest of them arranged. I'll be tromping through shortly." Veronica offers as she pushes off and rolls towards the bay where the Augmenta armor is opened up and waiting. She reaches up as her lift bar lowers, and grabs hold as it swings her over to drop into place inside the armor as it seals up around her and the connections to her mind and neurology come online.

Once that is done, the Augmenta armor steps out of its holding bay and then steps over to another station, where she then bolts into an outer frame ideal for towing along extra gear - like all of the pods of prepped Humblebee drones, or a certain cyborg partner. "Open the roof launch, please." comes Augmenta's altered voice.

"She's my favorite horse in the stable," Posse jokes before running off to swap her own gear out as well. With her own helmet already on, the cyborg's vision overlays with progress bars and half-loaded maps as mission data streams in as she preps. "<I'll meet you by the skylight when I'm refit,>" she radios back to Augmenta.

The Patriot armor inclines its head, starting to stomp her way up to the landing area as well as a support staffer rolls up one of the Humblebee pods so she can lock it into place on the armor's back. From there, it's a short wait for Angela's arrival, and with Toni carrying Angela and Posse riding along on Augmenta, about an hour's trip or so to get to Seely Lake in Montana.

The wildfire leaves its mark. The closer the group gets to the fire, the darker the sky gets, and the scent of smoke starts to fill the air. A breathing mask is available if people need it, of course.

Upon arrival, MacKenzie reports that they've pinpointed one of the GPS trackers for two of the missing ambulances on the highway, near a small residential suburb built between two of the smaller lakes in the area. The fire has engulfed part of the area, but there's an area of the road next to a burning ambulance that's still open, save for several abandoned civilian vehicles that were apparently cutoff, a Malibu and a pickup truck with some random things thrown hurriedly in the back. Another ambulance is fully engulfed and appears to have exploded recently, probably when the gas went up….it's a burned out hulk at this point. No sign of bodies though.

Upon arrival in Montana, Angela grins at Toni, "Thanks for the lift." She winks, and then actually falls from Toni, spreading her arms as she seems to be skydiving. Without a parachute.

Which is when she starts to glow, armor forming around her out of nowhere and feathered wings spreading wide from her back. Her hair looks to almost be made of flame now, as her eyes glow a golden hue, the angelic being circling around as she says, "Get the civilian vehicles out first?"

Augmenta comes clomping up to the landing and launching pad and waits until Posse arrives, then allows the cyborg to step up and lock into the frame now attached to the armor for expressly this purpose - and carrying more gear, like another of the Humblebee pods. "Adjusting flight profile for increased load. Ready?" she checks, and then launches after the Iron Patriot and her bewinged passenger.

"On station in thirty seconds. Posse, do me a favor? Free up your left boot, and tap the deploy lever on the Humblebee pod, please?" Veronica requests. And as the pods are deployed, they shed dozens of the little drones, their systems networking together into a flying, roving, adapting mesh of mobile sensor platforms cooperatively feeding that data to Augmenta and the Iron Patriot. "Sonar imaging up first, to see through the flames. Let's get a topo map of everything, look for signs of a shelter."

And then they are on-station, and it's time for Posse to drop. It's quite the sight, these folks getting to where they are needed most. "Remember to lead with one of those cryo-lattice grenades, Posse. I don't want you getting any more burnt than you were already."

Clamped firmly to Augmenta's armor, Posse peers down at the scorched earth below, flipping through her suit's array of sensors to find the best contrast against the hot and smoky background. The cyborg leaves one foot hanging after dropping the Humblebee pod and chuckles disarmingly. "How else are you gonna' test that spray-on skin? If I find any chocolate down there I'll bring you back a s'more."

With that, the cyborg decouples from Augmenta's back and freefalls the rest of the way to the ground. Still flying in at a substantial speed, her metal boots hit the ground together and the Overwatch chief tips and rolls along her side and across her back, coming up unharmed if dusty and unholstering the foam cannon from her suit.

Toni blinks behind her helmet as Angela sprouts golden wings and descnds. "…well fuck." she mumbles, frowning faintly at that. "…okay, wasn't kidding." She shakes her head, then flies up to get a better view as she hovers overhead, her optics zooming in on the advancing wall of flame closing on the area from the northeast. <We've got a narrow window here…it looks like maybe fifteen minutes until the window pushes the front into the neighborhood. I'm going to try and stall it while you get the survivors…I might be able to channel the wind with some fields to blow it at an angle or something…"

As Iron Patriot flies off to do that, the Humblebees fly upwards quickly! The smoke and heat make it harder to scan…partly because there are high winds whipping through the area that are responsible for the wildfire's voracious advance, well into gusts of 50 mph of hot, dry air that sucks the moisture out of you to breath in practically. It's surreal, a normal subdivision of perhaps twenty houses and a lake surrounded by flame. A few streams of fire have already caught here and there, separting it itno sections.

But after some work, the drone network tentatively tag three groups of survivors in the area not yet consumed by the wildfire.

The first is easiest…it's a pickup truck that's going cross country in an attempt to evade the flames. It is currently losing the race as the winds push the fire after it across dry fields filled with brown fall foliage and grass that catches easily.

The second is a small group that appears to be near one of the houses that's been surrounded. A group of people trapped there appear to be trying to hold the flames at bay with garden hoses as they spray down the area near the house desperately.

The third group appears to be in the lake itself near where the shore is ablaze, hanging onto to what looks like an old pontoon dock that's been cut loose from its supports and is floating freely in the lake.

Angela seems unfazed by the fires and smoke as she says into her commlink, « Got it. I'll handle the people on the lake. » Since, well, she doesn't exactly have the armor or tech of the others… but she is pretty strong. Angling downwards quickly, she soars down towards the lake and banks over, hovering over the makeshift raft.

She then smiles reassuringly down at the people there, "Hello, I'm here to get you out of this. I don't suppose you have a rope?" If they do, that makes things a lot easier, since… well, whatever language she's speaking in is the native language of what they speak.

"Patriot, you head to the house. Your force field should be enough to wrap around all of them and keep them safe. I'll get the truck." That said, Augmenta arrows in, using her flight systems for aiming b ut almost no braking at all as she streaks to close in on the desperately fleeing vehicle. "Launching cryo-lattice grenades on target."

Pahtump! Pahtump! The grenades fly out, drop around the vehicle and erupt into intense but momentary cold, dousing the flames nearby even as the matte grey armor of Augmenta comes streaking through the flames, arms down to grab the vehicles superstructure. "Time go!"

Posse takes her bearings and stays put until the humblebees light up the three clusters of survivors. With Augmenta heading for the vehicle and Patriot securing the house, the cyborg runs in the direction of the lake, rushing along the edge of the advancing firewall. Her foam cannon is angled to one side and unleashes a long stream, working to cool the path ahead just a little. « I'll work suppression. Get east group out to the middle of the lake. Ask the rescues if there are any other groups off our scanners.»

Athanasia flies down, taking a rope from one of the people on the makeshift raft, "Hang on, we're going to the middle of the lake for a bit. Don't worry, just stay calm and still and we'll get through this. Are there other groups besides yours?" She smiles and then flies slowly into the air, towing the raft behind her on the water as she takes particular care not to go too fast.

Then the angel speaks into the comm, « Got it. Going to the middle of the lake for now. »

"Roger. House is mine." Patriot radios, as she arrows in as arranged.

he humblebee drone network continues scanning, keeping the entire team up to date on their allies' activities, successes and challenges. They also serve to help boost communications over the interference of the fire, which can be an issue. Their sensors are pretty amazing, and networked together they do a great job, but they are not magic and do have limitations. They haven't revealed anything extra as yet, and the updrafts from the fire are making the drones burn through their power faster than is ideal for their endurance.

Asked a question, those in the raft produce the rope that was on and in the raft; that's about all they have left. But they accept the help rather than trying to swat at the angel person with their paddles, so that's progress.

"Others? Three in a pickup, including a kid. A bunch of folks took shelter in an old meeting house; water there was still running. We —-" That particular survivor breaks out in coughing sobs, words choked off and lost. But another starts talking immediately, realizing this is important.

"We lost two. Their car just blew the Hell up before we realized the flames at blown over and collapsed on us. A lot scattered. Those're the only ones I saw."

Augmenta climbs hard with the truck over her back and legs, holding on for all she's worth as she pulls up above the flames. "We need a way to quickly extract the group on the lake. I don't think that raft is going to be enough. Posse, you see anything on the ground?"

"«Standby,»" Posse answers tersely as she peers through the smoke around her, aided in part by the drone network overhead. Heat and choking air haze her vision but cocooned in her sealed helmet the cyborg's able to breathe freely. Hiding in the corner a narrow gauge monitors her suit temperature and has already started rising…

"«Flatbed trailer - no engine,»" the cyborg radios back as she skids across the hot pavement and makes a sharp turn away to a nearby house, spying an abandoned pickup truck and trailer in its driveway. "«We can haul this by hand. I'll move it to the lake,»" she adds as her whirlwind sprint slows to a halt and the RESCUE officer works to quickly uncouple the trailer from its ride.

Athanasia continues towing the makeshift raft, trying to keep it near the middle of the lake for the moment. « Sounds like three in a pickup, there's an old meeting house with water still running nearby. » She glances down towards the others on the raft, and gives them a reassuring smile.

"I'm not saying this is going to be easy, but we're going to do what we can for you all. You have my word." Her halo flares a bit, as the smoke and fire doesn't seem to bother her at all.

"I can't pick up speed, or risk the guy in the truck bed. I'll be back as soon as I can." Veronica is frankly sick at the thought of flying away from her friends and allies like this, but she sees no choice; there's no safe place for this truck and its passengers down there. "Posse, I recommend you use that strength of yours, and tear that flatbed off the truck frame. Lighten the load. Then maybe she can fly the flatbed out with a harness." Damn, she feels so useless!

Inside the Patriot armor, Toni frowns as several alerts along one side continue to steadily rise. The oncoming wall of flame is at least three meters high as it is…and the harsh winds are blowing them higher, severa lines of fire meet and merge as they engulf several houses at the edges of the suburb. "Temperatures climbing…1200 farenheit beyond my field, a bit over 7000 kilowatts of energy, particulate matter levels are rising rapidly too…I can hold but the heat is going to start being an issue here soon." The helmet tilts slightly. "…I might have to try and make a firebreak to slow this down, with the winds the fire is accelerating this direction."

Holstering her foam cannon and taking a firm grip of the trailer hitch, the vents of Posse's cybernetics spew hot air as the trailer's wheels roll backwards away from the truck and angle down the driveway. Pushing from behind, the cyborg bears down on her load and steers it in the direction of the lake, moving gradually with more comfort as the wheels gain speed.

"#*&# these girls do good work," the bionic woman smiles grimly to herself before keying her radio. «Truck trailer is detached and moving clear for pickup.» A green-striped canister is unclipped from Posse's belt in a quick motion and chucked into the trailer bed where it begins to spew a thick green haze that rises and mingles with the fire.

Athanasia releases the raft for the moment, letting them sit in the middle of the lake for the moment as she says, "Be right back!" With that, she flies quickly with a crack of thunder over towards Posse and the pickup trailer, "Alright, I can carry this out there. Need a lift yourself?" The angel sounds completely unfazed by the smoke and fire still, as she seems content to help where she can to save the innocents present.

"Posse, are you carrying any of the cryolattice charges? Sounds like Patriot could really use them." But of course Augmenta herself can't get them there. She's flying that truck and its passengers out as fast as she dares, skimming above the flames as she heads for the closest staging area.

But then the woman inside that armor has an idea. She issues the commands, summoning one of the humblebee drones to leave the network and fly out of position into her flight path, as she changes course slightly. When she gets close enough, she summons the drone to fly under her path, and she drops a clip of cryolattic grenades from her belt, attaching them to the drone and then continuing on her own way as she sends the drone back towards Iron Patriot.

"Toni, ping locator on Humblebee beta-one-seven. It's coming to you with a care package. I'm handing off controls." It's the best she can do to help her team right now.

"I see it." Part of the force field drops to let the drone through as she catches the incoming grenades, a panel opening on her armor as the grenades are loaded into her onboard launcher. "Okay. Between this and my CO2 pellets, I can probably delay the front for a few minutes, but I'm gonna need one of you to get these people out."

Iron Patriot's helmet tilts to the side, glancing over at the people clustered together inside the force field, particularly at the nurse hovering over a pale young woman in a hospital gown. "I've got at least one person who won't be able to walk out on their own."

A flashing alert comes up on her HUD as she turns her head. "….Augmenta. I have a moving heat signature in one of the cut off houses. Small. Could be a pet. Can your humblebees handle airlifting it out?"

Posse waves as the angel comes into view above her and hops onto the trailer bed, looping a single arm almost lazily around its front railing to keep herself on board. "<Roger. Detour near Patriot for me.>" the cyborg officer requests as she pats the cryo devices clipping to her armor - guns and grenades all. Roni and Toni might have developed cutting-edge peaceful firefighting tools, but the veteran's choice of form factor for hers are familiar to another role.

Athanasia looks at Posse and grins a little, "Okay, this is going to be a little weird." She hmms a bit, noticing that carrying the trailer in the air might be tricky since, well, unlike the others, she needs to have freedom to flap her wings!

Which is when the angel notices a flipped over jeep with a tow cable attachment in the front. Smiling, the angel reaches down and rips off the spool of tow cable, wrapping it around and through the trailer as a makeshift harness. "There, that should do it. I don't think this is going to be too heavy…" And with that, she secures the tow cable attachment to herself and does, at least, manage to lift the trailer off the ground! Not the fastest going, but it does work!

"Coming in for a landing at the nearest secure point. Closing comms mike for external pickup." Veronica transmits, as Augmenta comes in and literally scrapes the ground dropping the truck to the ground. Then she crawls out from under and addresses the staff. "Minor burns, and smoke inhalation. I have to go. Prep for additional trauma arrival imminent. We have found at least twelve other souls and will be bringing them here as quickly as we can."

Less than a minute later, the matte grey suit of powered armor launches back into the air, as her communications come back online. "Rerouting back in, top speed. Do I close on Toni's last stand, here, or the lake? Please advise."

Iron Patriot turns her head slightly as the trailer starts moving her direction. "OKAY PEOPLE…" she says over her external loudspeaker. "WE'VE GOT EVAC ENROUTE, THEY'LL BE HERE IN UNDER A MINUTE. MOVE TO THE SOUTHWEST SIDE OF THE BUILDING IN THE YARD SO THEY CAN GET TO YOU. REMAIN CALM. WE'LL HAVE YOU OUT OF HERE SHORTLY."

She flips to internal coms. "Alright….I'm going to drop the shield momentarily so I can try and clear a firebreak with the cryolattices and CO2 pellets. Might give you a few minutes max to get people aboard before the fire resumes in the area. Augmenta, head to my position and help with evac. I've got a quick side trip to get the other thermal signature then I'll be back. Use the grenades or whatever you need to to keep the fire at bay during evacuation." Her eyes flick to the sensors. "…be advised, the wind is picking up and the fire with it. Fire now approaching 7800 kilowatts in energy, height six meters."

With a dying hum the force field generation on the Iron Patriot shuts down before she rockets into the air, panels opening on her shoulders as she flicks her eyes around her HUD as she directs her suit. "Set for 150 degree dispersal, thirty meter interlocking detonation." As the suit signals ready, she nods. "Fire."

With a series of sharp *phffts* the launchers on her armor go to full sprint fire, sending grenades and co2 pellets cascadeing into the incoming wall of fire as they explode in flashes of superchilled and inert vapor, the fire snuffing out in the immediate area, before the armor accelerates past the smoldering ash towards one house in particular, arms forward as she angles to smash in through the window, turning her helmet back and forth as she scans.

The people at the house, of course, are freaking out just a bit since Iron Patriot flew OFF into the fire instead of staying with them.

Posse sways with the trailer bed as the angel lifts it from the ground but her seemingly casual grip holds rock-steady. Like a carabiner looped around the railing, the cyborg tips and sways along it as the metal of her suit slides, but the gap of her elbow doesn't grow at all. She is, for most purposes, locked in by one arm. "<If you can make it to Patriot I'll spare you a couple hundred pounds. Posse moving to house point 2, arriving in 20 seconds. Will continue fire suppression during evac.>"

Athanasia grins a bit, «Good to know. Heading there now.» And so she's flying Posse over towards the house in question, and trying to get her to where Patriot is as well. She seems pretty unfazed by the heat and smoke, though the wind makes it hard to keep it steady since she's hauling a fairly significant amount of weight…

"Heading to Patriot's prior position, best speed, incoming." Veronica radios, as the Augmenta suit stays just barely above tree- and fire-level, streaking as fast as its propulsion can towards the target coordinates. "Reading dispersal pattern of cryo-lattice grenades, updating from humblebee scans. Toni, that pet is too big for them, but their accoustic monitors have a lock on breathing - choking and gasping - and heartbeat."

Ninety to a hundred and twenty seconds later, Augmenta augurs through the flames, environmental temperature warnings screaming in her ears as she closes on the civilians awaiting rescue. "Thirty more seconds …"

"It's fine, I got it…" Iron Patriot responds, then mutters. "I think…" She catches sign of a scurrying little form hiding under a couch, then walks over to slide armored fingers under it, picking it up to reveal a very startled and suprised kitten, who promptly tries to scrabble to another hiding spot. "Oh no you don't…" Another hand cuts off its retreat, then carefully scoops up the terrified cat carefully, before the armor moves towards the hole it came in through again. "Got it, coming back…ah, crap..uh…" She looks around, then spots an athletic bag nearby, moving to undo it and dump it out, then deposits the cat inside before zipping it up to protect it from the smoke for the trip, then slings it and takes off.

At the house, the people quickly start boarding the trailer, though Posse and Athanasia will need to help the young woman in the hospital gown aboard. Meanwhiel the fire flares up again, beginniing its rapid advance towards the house as a gust of wind carries the wall of flames into the neighboring home, which goes up almost immediately as Patriot returns, carefully handing off the bag to the nurse of the group. "Here, keep this safe please." She turns to look over the group. "Alright. Posse, Athanasia, take the trailer and get it clear. Augmenta, we're going to go get the people in the lake to safety, if we can fly out the dock with them on it between the two of us and the 'bees."

Athanasia helps the young woman into the trailer, then hoists the trailer into the air again. It's slow going, but they're making progress in getting clear. She does, however, say, "Please keep your hands and arms inside the trailer at all times!" as they take off. Which, well, has one of the rescuees look at another.

"… I didn't think angels made jokes?"

"Dispersal pattern firing now." Veronica transmits, as Augmenta flies into position over the trailer and the angel holding onto it. Her launcher pahthumps repeatedly, firing the cryo-lattice grenades to tamp down the flames and give everyone a chance at a safe evacuation.

"Roger, Toni. Lead the way." And Augmenta follows Patriot towards the makeshift raft and the people aboard. "Switching to external speakers."

"Attention, on the raft. Help incoming. Please crowd to the center and hold on tight."

And then there are two powered armor suits splashing down into the lake and coming up under the dock/raft, lifting off. "Slow and steady, Toni. Let's get these folks out of here. Swarm is locked on station around us."

The star-spangled armor follows Augmenta over and down, hovering as she scans over the dock. "Right. Two point lift would be…" The thrusters cut as the armor splashes into the water, disappearing from view, then reappears under the dock as the people using it for flotation scramble aboard. A secondary feed from the Patriot armor goes to Augmenta to help coordinate the lift as the dock creaks, then lifts up into the air slowly, water dripping off it as the armored pair rise above the flames. The entire neighborhood is just gone now, the wall of flames greedily swallowing up the remaining houses near the lake. The entire horizon is nothing but flame and smoke, dark as night from the sun being blotted out. "COVER YOUR MOUTHS AND NOSE AS BEST YOU CAN WITH CLOTH, KEEP YOUR EYES SHUT." Patriot advises those aboard as they start moving after the trailer.

Athanasia sets the smaller trailer down at the extraction point, uncabling herself from that as she gestures, "Alright, everyone… let's get onto the bigger trailer, here, let me help…" She helps the woman in the hospital gown, absently saying, "Don't worry, the halo isn't literally on fire. I think you've all had enough of that." With that, she makes sure everyone is ready for the next stage of the evacuation.

As soon as the angel gets everyone landed, medics rush to help those who were aboard, gathering them up and offering up breathing masks while taking cursory medical checks for injuries and the like. The evac point where Augmenta dropped off the truck already has medical teams standing by, and they rush to deliver aid and pack people up into vehicles to get them headed to locations even safer and farther away from the fire's spread.

Augmenta and Iron Patriot come in a bit later, setting down with the dripping dock that nearly falls apart under them. The medical crews surge forward to gather them up as well, getting everyone headed out as the humblebee swarm spreads out to monitor the fire and make sure this spot remains safe and everyone gets plenty of warning if that changes.

"OK, folks. That's everyone evac'd. Call from our plane puts the crew onsite in thirty minutes. Let's get these people on their way to safety. Then we need to get back up to that plane. When they start jumping, we need to get in, reload, and then be ready to help out." Veronica orders.

Posse, of course, gets in touch with the field commander of the fire teams fighting this blaze, to start coordinating additional efforts.

Iron Patriot, meanwhile, finds a place for the kitten. Because the little things matter too. She turns her head, zooming in on the wildfire, then mutters on the team channel. "Not sure there's much we can do against that fire at this point other than get people out of the way. Maybe if I had something larger…cryolattice bomb…." she muses. "Or a drone fleet with more C02 pellets…" But for now, the people are safely clear of the fire zone and the fire teams are working to contain the danger. Once Overwatch's support team arrives, they'll be set up to help move anyone clear in small groups from the smaller towns in the area, making up for the lack of helicopter support.

A smokefilled, hellish looking day. But a good day for saving folks.

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