PHD #182: A Spirited Tactical Debate
A Spirited Tactical Debate
Summary: Tillman and Cidra engage in one about the situation on the ground in Sagittaron. To escalate or not to escalate, that is the question.
Date: 27 Aug 2041 AE
Related Logs: Things Fall Apart; Above the Treeline; all the other Sag logs
Tillman Cidra 
Post-Holocaust Day: #182

OOC Note: This log should be read as a wirless call, it just wasn't convenient to use the coded com system at the time. Tillman and Cidra are on a presumably-private com line from Cerberus to a Raptor on Sagittaron.

Tillman (T) pages: Consider the phone ringin when you're ready. She'd be told its the XO.

Cidra: "Major Hahn."

Tillman: Its Major Tillman. Wanted to find out the status of your efforts with the SSLF. We're considering alternative methods if they won't stop hitting our camp.

Cidra: I have sent my missive to the insurgent leader, the one called Melpomene. No response as of yet, but we have had no attacks since, either. What do you mean by 'alternative methods', Major?

Tillman: Copy that. We're considering using surgical hits with a laser target designator and orbital gunnery. Weps thinks we can get very precise with the medium guns.

Cidra: Orbital guns?

Cidra: Major, permission to speak freely?

Tillman: Yeah, go ahead.

Cidra: I could have my Vipers and Raptors carpet bomb this basin into oblivion and kill every insurgent here, but what purpose would that serve? Aside from perhaps harming whatever innocents might still be living in this basin as well. My people report having found a religious cult alive in one of the caves nearby and they did us no harm whatsoever. Invited ours in for a meal. All due respect, Major, we did not come here to kill human beings, even such as these, and I would need an order from the Colonel himself to support that. It is unnecessary, in my view. This planet is dying. They will not survive here long. Bombing them serves no purpose. What I recommend is this. If Command deems the basin a waste of possible casualties to continue to operate in, we pull our camp out to one of the cities in this region. Aera Yazd, Aera Pona…perhaps even Aera Cura, if we want to range a little further north. Yes, they were hit particularly hard by Cylon bombs, but we shall not be here long and could get on with anti-rads. And the insurgents would likely not have ventured into them, so we could create a more secure position until we are done on the planet. At least until we have explored those bases constructed by the Cylons before they pulled out, tried to determine their origin, even if we find no more survivors than those in the caves. We shall not be lingering here much longer if I read Pewter right anyhow. I see no reason for the Colonial Navy to lay yet more waste to this world.'

Tillman: I'm not talking about bombing the entire region, Major. Specifically, I'm talking about taking out their anti-aircraft sites to let them know that if they want to keep fighting us, we can hit them when and where we want. Captain Sitka provided the coordinates in his AAR. Extending bombardment if they wish to do so. I'm not inclined to move on this until there is a report from you about the talks with the SSLF, regardless. If it happens, Major, you had better believe you'll have these orders straight from the Colonel.

Cidra: Those are not 'their' anti-aircraft sites, Major. Those are ours. Or they were. There were outposts in the jungles here in some areas the Colonial Government had designated 'no fly' zones, due to their use by smugglers and insurgent sympathizers. Equipped with remote and proximity-detector drones that would target any non-Colonial craft in the air. They were programmed specifically not to target Colonial transponders, but it appears the insurgents disabled that particular feature. Anyhow. I can keep my people out of these no-fly areas from now on. I do not care for the irony of having our own guns turned upon us again. And, again, I do not see the need for such risk of collateral damage when simple relocation and caution would solve most matters for us down here. It seems a waste to me. You are the XO, of course, but you gave me permission to speak freely and there it is. If I do not here something to my liking from Melpomene, I will ask to pull our operations back to the outskirts of one of the cities.

Tillman: If they're unmanned, even better. Fly where you need to, but if your people are going near them again, call Weps. I'll have him prep the strike to go on-call. As for caution," … "They are killing and wounding our people when we have done nothing to them, Major, but offer assistance. Ask about any prisoners they may have. We'll refrain from gunfire until you have spoken with them. If anything happens to you or anyone on your team, I will not hesitate. Keep this in mind, Major.

Cidra: My people will not be going near them again, under my order. And that is that. I still think the deployment of orbital bombing against this planet, even strategically, highly unwise. These people have been fighting the Colonial government all their lives. We had no real reason to expect that to have changed, I do suppose. They know we have a battlestar. They know we have fighter planes and squads of Marines. They know we are stronger than they. *That* sort of show will do nothing but convince them they are correct in thinking nothing has changed and perhaps inflame the situation. Worse comes to worst? They can have this damned basin so far as I am concerned. It is nothing we should try to 'win'.

Tillman: We could expect them to be interested in evacuation and a humanitarian mission. Perhaps a rescue and relocation but that, apparently, wasn't on their docket, Major. I'm not interested in winning anything, either. I'm interested in keeping them from killing or injuring anymore of our people. If they want to stay on that rock and die, that's their right and I'll respect that. But if I have to hasten their exit to keep my people safe, then so be it. That is a choice they have made for themselves as well. We're past right and wrong. At this point its purely about the survival of those who wish to live.

Cidra: I disagree, Major. We are not past right and wrong. Even if we do not have the luxury of them so often as we would like. We are certainly not to the point of waste of our resources on human beings we fundamentally do not need to fight. My recommendation both to you and to the Colonel is, as I have said, move our operations for the remainder of our time here and leave them to their swamp if we cannot continue here without further aggression. I did not come here to kill human beings, Clive. I will defend my life and those of my people, but this is *not* the war I am fighting.

Tillman: If it comes down to it, I will share your concern with the Colonel. You have my word. I'm not here to fight people either, Major, but if they insist on it, then I'll deliver fires. We did not initiate hostilities with them. It went the other way. Do what you have to down there, Major. You have on-site command while you are there. But if they hit us again, we will retaliate. Copy that?

Cidra: Copy that. I shall begin drafting plans for our withdrawal from the basin and relocation immediately. I shall submit them to yourself and the Colonel promptly. And recommend that if you are even so much as contemplating hostilities we simply pull out from this location.

Tillman: Please do, Major. We'll be taking it all under advisement. Cerberus, out.

Cidra: Hahn out.

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