PHD #116: Amelia In Her Summer Dress
Amelia In Her Summer Dress
Summary: Tisiphone brings more tales of Leonis to Cidra. Some abominations are not so easily banished from the mind for either of them.
Date: 22 Jun 2041 AE
Related Logs: A Lie Never Lives To Grow Old
Cidra Tisiphone 
Ready Room - Deck 7 - Battlestar Cerberus
With the hatches at the rear of the room, the walkways on both sides slope down towards the dais at the front of the room. The stadium seating forms a partial semi-circle around the speaking podium and provides enough seats for all three hundred members of the Air Wing. The walls are adorned with the patches of each squadron aboard and their mottos stenciled in white lettering above each one. Behind the podium is a set of large LCD screens that can display any matter of material from reconnaissance to maps to gun camera footage.
Post-Holocaust Day: #116

How does the humble Ensign hunt the wily CAG? Where do the senior officers vanish to that she's not privy to? Tisiphone is still unconvinced there isn't an entire deck, hidden somewhere between the stairwells, where they go to rub elbows and pick their teeth with the bones of the lowly. The Ready Room is somewhere she's capable of checking, though, and so it is this evening that she slips in, her Leonisian sunburn still fading from cheeks and arms, to look about.

Cidra has been loosed from Sickbay but she's still technically off-duty. Left arm still in a sling, bruise on her left temple a bit faded by now. She's not logging too much time in the berthings just now, however. She's in her off-duties, in the Ready Room, watching flight footage. A Viper sortie, obviously, date-stamp identifying it as one that took place on '05.23.2041.' Though, as usual with these things, it's hard to tell anything more at a glance, swift movements of the planes chaotic until one has time to dissect them. Tisiphone's entry is not noticed.

Flight footage. So. Much. Flight. Footage. Tisiphone pauses near the door, watching it for a minute or more, before her quiet-scuffing footfalls carry her down the central walkway toward the front. There's a bruise across one of her cheekbones, steadily fading away from blue-black to mottled green. She hasn't had the best luck about smashing her face into things. Once within easier speaking distance, she clears her throat gently and calls, "Sir?" A salute, of course. Of course.

The sound of an entrant into the room makes Cidra immediately pause and stop the tape. Screen blacking. Head turns from screen to Tisiphone before she actually speaks. "Apostolos." The salute is waved off with a flick of her wrist. She's a righty, fortunately. There's a cigarette burning in an ashtray on the arm of her seat. Her hand detours to lift it and take a puff. "As you were, please." The barest hint of a smile, but it touches her blue eyes. "I do not think I have said yet. Welcome home."

"It's- good to be home, Sir." The words are immediate and dutiful, but the earnestness is somewhat subdued. Tisiphone looks down to dig for her own cigarettes, obscuring her expression for a few beats. When she looks up again, lighting her smoke as she does, it's with a careful calmness. "I hope you won't be out of commission for long, Sir. Watching flight footage is no way to treat a person." There — a moment of wryness, maybe even slyness. They both know just how many weeks she watched them for.

"I am not cataloging. I am reviewing. For my…personal use," Cidra says. Tone dry as dust. A shake of her head at the question. "Not so long, according to Medical. The shoulder needs some rest so the muscles will mend but…two weeks, perhaps. I was very fortunate." She does not sound like she counts herself so, particularly, though. The younger woman is regarded with that inscrutable blue gaze. Speculative.

"So say we all, Sir." /That/ is earnest, as well as dutifully prompt. "I was- we all were covering Boots and Shiv while they made pickup on you." Tisiphone looks away for a few seconds — a few too many to be anything but a restless stalling maneuver — as she pulls on her cigarette and blows the lungful of air out before she squares her shoulders a bit and says, "I- there was something I wanted to mention, Sir. Just- it's a small thing. About our time on Leonis."

Cidra speaks no more of her cratering on the surface, beyond two small nods at 'Boots' and 'Shiv.' As ever, she's difficult to read, though there's an abstracted air about her. A pensive sort of mood. "Sit, please, Money Shot. I have nothing but time just now."

Tisiphone's weight shifts forward on the balls of her feet, the precursor to her taking that first step, then rocks back again for a bit. The second try propels her forward to a nearby seat, which she drags out and drops down into, bootsoles scraping against the floor as she tries to affect a casual slouch. It probably isn't fooling either of them. She draws her teeth against a cracked spot on her bottom lip a couple times before saying, "Shiv said he promised you he'd look after us while we were away. I mean- Daphne and I," she begins.

"He did that, yes," Cidra says. Faintest of smiles again. This one doesn't reach her eyes. "It seems a long time ago now, though it was not quite two months gone." A drag is taken on her cigarette, gaze never wavering from Tisiphone. It's not probing or particularly steady. She just watches, trying to catch the Viper pilot's eyes.

Tisiphone's chewing this all over like it's especially meaty food for thought, sun-bleached brows knitted toward eachother and twitching with a jumble of considerations. At length, after two drawn-out drags off her cigarette, she looks up again. "I just wanted to say he did. That's all. I wouldn't have made it back if it wasn't for him." Her eyes are suddenly a little brighter than they were, a blink previous, and she shakes her head as if waving another thought off. "He did a good job. I just wanted to make sure someone said it."

"I never doubted that he would," Cidra says, eyes going from the ensign, to the pale plume of smoke her cigarette creates as it tendrils up from between her fingers. Another drag. "Ibrahim is a rare man." A pause, and she elaborates on that little observation, "He is a highly-skilled pilot, and very…steady, is a good word, I think. He has a good head on his shoulders. That is not as common a trait as many would like to think."

Tisiphone clears her throat and tilts her head forward to attend to the matter of smoking for several seconds. After blowing the smoke out toward her boots, she slumps back into her affectation of a relaxed slouch and shifts her shoulders to try to actually get comfortable. It's still not really working. "A steady point to put your back to when everything's going to shit. Yeah. Anyway." She clears her throat again, shifting in her seat. "They've told you about Salt, Sir?"

"I trust Shiv," Cidra says. The words are simple, but her tone imbues them with an emphasized sort of meaning. Tisiphone is still eyed in that mild way. A little probing now. But that is not a matter she immediately presses. A nod as to Salt. Expression turning grim. "I did hear a bit of that from Jugs and Lucky when they were evac'd back to the ship. Shiv has told me more. He gave me some account of your time on the surface. And your encounters with those…abominations." She snarls the word with an uncharacteristic harshness.

The CAG gets her Probing Gaze fired up, and Tisiphone's sleety gaze squirms away to Destination: Anywhere But There. Her bootlaces. They're fascinating. Look at how the dim Ready Room lighting makes the grommets shine just so. The restlessness deepens and stills as matters change to Salt, however, becoming a deep and troubled pensiveness. "Lasher, Lucky and I found him. We thought he was a survivor. They didn't recognize him when he pulled his hood down. I did. I shot him." Her mouth purses up, throat bobbing against a tight swallow. "He didn't die right away. He said he remembered me." Another harsh drag off her cigarette. "I thought he was a good man."

"Lieutenant Ryan Shaker. Salt. From Virgon. He had a wife back there." Cidra recites the words as if they are engraved upon her mind. "One of the One-Forty-Seven…one of our first lost…what by all the gods was he…?" The question is murmured to herself rather than asked of Tisiphone. She does not expect an answer. "Shiv said there were others as well. The admiral, perhaps. That we have heard. And he spoke of a woman. He called her…Yazdah." Her drawling Gemenese accent wraps itself around the softened a's, drawing them out a little.

"Amelia in her summer dress," Tisiphone echoes, as prompted by some restless ghost. "I wanted to fly as calm and easy as he did, someday. And then there he is smiling and dying and telling me he /liked/ me and-" She shakes her head sharply, and a terrible sort of wide, brittle smile cuts her mouth suddenly. As if it /needs/ a laugh to clear the thought, but she can't quite make it. "Eleven," she corrects, when Cidra names the 'woman' Yazdah. "'Yazdah' is 'Eleven'. There were three of us there from Sagittaron. She- took our accent and words and- used it to win our trust. It worked. At first. On- some of us." The Ensign is not one of them, from the look of that cold and troubled stare. "One of twelve brothers and sisters, she said. She talked with others, in front of Rutger Tower. All numbered. The Threes and the Nines and- like that. I don't understand any of it."

"He said it…knew things," Cidra says, shuddering herself. "Spies, then. Perfect spies. Clones wearing human faces, not machines but not men. And he told me some of the…experiments in that Tower you speak of." She does not press for further information. Though that does bring to mind, "You saw this tape Lucky spoke of? Of Rear Admiral Abbot, and the Centurions." She still uses his title. All the military respect. Some things are ingrained deep in her.

"Yeah. Lasher and I did. Lucky was there, too, on the couch. Ashwood and his friends had just pulled us in off the street after the Centurions shot them up. I think Lieutenant Oberlin had it. Or maybe- um. Junior Lieutenant Kulko. I'm pretty sure they were keeping the tape safe for Ashwood." Just as well, considering the man himself never made it off the planet.

Cidra nods short. "If you have not heard already. The Admiral was detained until this could be investigated fully. You will likely be questioned by the MPs about it. Give them a full account, leave nothing out. I do not need to tell you the grave import of this matter. If the admiral was one of these abominations, the consequences shall be quite dire. He had access to everything on this ship."

"Of course, Sir. Anything they want to know, I'm here to tell them." And Tisiphone comes full circle, back to dutifully prompt. A moment later, after a restless shuffling of feet, she pushes herself upright. "I shouldn't keep you," she murmurs, mumbled around the cigarette tucked into her mouth. "I just- thanks for your time, Sir." Her shoulder twitches as if she's considering a salute, then reins it in just in time; instead, she dips her head in a mute nod.

The nod is returned. Blue eyes still regarding Tisiphone in that curious sort of way. "Of course, Apostolos. Anything you wish to tell me, at any time, I am most at your disposal." Cidra pauses. "I shall see you later. You and I have matter to speak of in the coming days, once some other things are sorted out." And she leaves it at that. Faintest of smiles on her lips.

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