PHD #133: EVENT - 2041 AE's Best Picture Winner
2041 AE's Best Picture Winner
Summary: The tape is viewed once more in the hopes of reaching a consensus.
Date: 09 July 2041 AE
Related Logs: Leonis and Abbot logs
Players:
Madilyn Kincaid Haeleah Constin Rime 
Engineering Video Viewing Room - Deck 11 - Battlestar Cerberus
It's a spare room setup by engineering for the purposes of reviewing and analyzing video evidence. There is a larger screen near the front of the room, with smaller stations for detailed analysis spread about the room. Chairs are placed at each station, and there's enough room in the middle of the floor for people to congregate and view a single tape on the larger screen.
Post-Holocaust Day: #133

The directive had been a simple one: on an official IC memo from the Marine CO, selected individuals that had previously been granted access to the tape had been recalled to a viewing session in order to assist in discovering evidence, air concerns, and pose questions. As before, the room is a secured spare room setup by the engineering staff to provide detailed image analysis and review above and beyond the basic tape review equipment in the security hub. In order to gain entry, each person must verify their identity with the MPs on duty outside the room, and be on the approved list. One larger screen has been set up to allow viewing by multiple pairs of eyes at once.

Not one to keep folks waiting, the Marine CO is the last person to enter the room, accompanied by additional MPs who have been asked to help review the tape. She is in possession of a secured copy of the tape rather than the original, expecting quite a bit of rewinding and reviewing - saving the integrity of the actual tape for the JAG review, no doubt. "Hello folks," Madilyn greets, flatly, as she enters the room. "You all know why we're here, so let's not waste time. You should all have had a chance to review this footage previously, and now be ready to contribute to our formal investigation. This includes any concerns you might have over what you've seen." She steps towards the front of the room to place the digital copy into the player and begin, but seems approachable for questions prior to pressing play.

Kincaid is in step along with the Marine CO, one of those summoned to take a look at the video in conjunction with her. He moves towards the back of the small room, or at least as far back as one can in an area this tiny, and folds his hands behind his back at a parade rest.

Haeleah is present and accounted for. She works in Engineering, after all, so she's adjacent already. A quick salute is brought up as Madilyn shows. "Sir. Lieutenant Parres." In case she needed a refresher. She's a bit of a squint and doesn't work often with the Marines. "I've reviewed it and the copy, aye. Quite the brain frak, isn't it?"

Constin enters on Madilyn's other flank, stepping to the opposite side of the room as does Kincaid. He too, clasps his hands behind his back, boots at shoulder width, turning a narrow blue eye over those assembled.

"Major," says Lieutenant Rime, adding her salute and acknowledgment to the chorus. She has a clipboard and pen with her, as well as the same thick technical book she's been carrying for over a week on A/V architecture. Several pages are dog-eared within it. "Did you have better luck with cleaning the video up, Lieutenant Parres?" she asks, as she sits down again.

Free of any questions (for the moment), the copy of the tape is put into place, and the lights are dimmed a moderate amount. The faces of the officers in the room are still viewable to each other, and writing is definitely still possible, but viewing is made easier on the large screen. To aid in the process of group viewing, Madilyn retrieves a remote control for the video player, and brings it back toward where the seats are set up and the others are sitting.

"Lieutenants," she nods to Rime and Haeleah. "Sergeant, Lance Corporal," to Constin and Kincaid. "To the best of their ability, engineering has confirmed this video to be authentic. The best efforts were made in transferring the original to secure digital copy, which is what we are about to view. You've been selected to be a part of this session as representatives of your departments," she begins to say, looking at Rime and Haeleah. "As well as for your involvement during certain…trying incidents involved in this investigation. Are there any concerns prior to beginning?"

Kincaid shakes his head once, as if to say he has no questions. Instead, he reaches into his pocket and pulls out a note pad, clicking a pen open to take notes. Call it old habits dying hard.

Constin keeps his position without comment. Expression fixed into the familiar stern, all-business stare. He says nothing, nor does discussion of the 'trying circumstances' elicit even a flicker of change in his countenance.

Haeleah tries to get a good seat for the picture show. She's a petite thing, so she wants to get in up front. A short nod to Madilyn, though she answers Rime first. "A little, but mostly I was trying *not* to frak with what was there. We were more concerned with authenticating what was there already. Looking for signs of data manipulation, photo and video alteration. All that Scorpion Jazz, as they say." Anyway. "The Major's got it right. Best as we can figure, the tape is legit. No sign of alteration or tampering."

"I'd like to see the check-out list for the videotape, before we adjourn, please," says Rime, settling back into a straight-shouldered lean in her chair, her clipboard resting against her crossed knee. "Otherwise, no. No concerns before we begin."

"Of course, Lieutenant. Those records will be made available for both copies of the tape that have been made." They are, no doubt, contained somewhere within that brown folder of papers that Madilyn carries with her. It's a fairly significant stack of documents, will all information relating to the investigation dating all the way back to the initial meetings with Alessandra and official statements. "Alright, let's begin. As you know, the first segment of the tape details Cylon operations on Leonis, in a district known as Morningvale I've been told."

The tape begins to play in the dim room, which immediately becomes brighter with the contents. After some initial unsteadiness to the camera, it finally settles. There's the sound of some breathing close to the mic, but it too soon dies out. It's a clear, late afternoon. The remains of a large tower, which serves as the district's H-train station, dominates the center of the image. Cylon Centurions swarm the image, which is in surprisingly clear HD supplemented by the natural lighting. The machines are setting up technology of heretofore unseen, completely-Cylon design. Their shapes may be recognizable, as they contruct these devices both in and around the tower. "We've several thoughts on the purposes of these devices, based on what crew rescued from Leonis have described in debriefings. Any additional input would be welcome."

<OOC> Madilyn says, "Academic or Technical rolls please, whichever may be higher for your character."
<FS3> Constin rolls Academic: Good Success.
<FS3> Haeleah rolls Technical: Success.
<FS3> Kincaid rolls Academic: Good Success.
<FS3> Rime rolls Academic: Good Success.

You paged Constin with 'One of the devices you'd recognize as an anti-infantry machine gun emplacement.'
You paged Haeleah with 'Since you were there, one of those things definitely resembles the SAM launcher that was used on the edge of that clearing where folks made their escape.'
You paged Constin and Rime with 'Two of the constructions resemble each other, though on different scales. The smaller emplacements are being built lower to the ground and on the lower floors of the building; the scaled up versions look automated or unusable by Centurions themselves, and are mounted pointed skyward on the upper floors of the building, and far less on the ground.'
You paged Kincaid with 'They look like weapons, but you're new to Colonial military service and likely wouldn't be able to pinpoint anything beyond that.'

Haeleah crosses her arms along her chest as she watches. Biting her lip as the footage of that tower plays. That, she remember. A finger flicks up where they're kind of clutched on her biceps, to point at the screen. "One of those looks a little like the SAM launchers the toasters had set up on the edge of the clearing. The one by where they evacuated us off the surface." She speaks of Leonis with no fondness whatsoever. Lousy vacation, that was.

Kincaid scribbles some notes on his pad, glancing down and back up again at the tape as it plays. "Yeah. Looks like weapons," confirms the reporter-turned-Marine Kincaid. "Weren't they taking some sort of anti-aircraft fire?"

Constin voices evenly, "The emplacement in the left foreground is a known configuration of rapid-fire anti-personnel armaments." The marine's lowbrow drawl colors the otherwise sophisticated narration. "The larger examples, elevated would fit the anti-aircraft designation."

"Setting up for defense, despite having eradicated the city's - and the colony's - population almost entirely," agrees Rime, her blue-green eyes intent upon the video. "The video quality's greatly improved. Excellent job. This makes our task easier. Is this the 'Rutger Tower' from the reports, then?"

"Reports indicate that this is another tower called…" and here, Madilyn pauses a moment, to flip through some of the pages in the folder she carries. The tape continues to play, with the camera man occasionally zooming in on a handful of Centurions working on some of the emplacements in the foreground, then zooming out, refocusing on another emplacement, and repeating. This continues for approximately three minutes. Before the tape can move on to the next segment, it's paused. "Atlas Tower. The reports I have indicate that Rutger Tower was in the Ocean Heights district and was more intact, leading to more sinister Cylon activity."

The pages she's flipped to are full of her own notes. "Though beyond the scope of this particular investigation, this segment of the tape presents an interesting opportunity to investigate and study Cylon technology. We're limited to reverse engineering or predicting function from tape, but it wouldn't be the first time such an endeavor has been undertaken on this ship." Mine fields, anyone? "At the conclusion of this particular investigation, I would like to open this avenue of research up to technicians and weapon specialists from all departments. Expect a memo in the future." That's all that's said about that avenue, before she presses play again. "The next part of the tape is, of course, the most highly controversial.

The tape continues with the construction a moment, before the camera is picked up, spun around (a flash of the camera man's blonde head visible in frame for a moment), then shut off. When the tape resumes recording, it shows a similar lighting style, but perhaps later in the day. A man, short, compact, muscular and trim, with blonde-tinged hair walks like what could be described only as royalty between an "honor guard" of Centurions. They adjust to his pace, which is alternately brisk, and slow as molasses, as he inspects the damage of a building that appears to be some sort of hospital. He interfaces with a device, and turns to face the camera for one brief moment. Madilyn lets the loop run through once, then rewinds. "This device, this honor guard, and of course, the identity of this person are critical to this investigation." Sequentially, she pauses as close to each 'moment' as she can, starting with the device.

<OOC> Madilyn says, "Alertness rolls, please!"
<FS3> Kincaid rolls Alertness: Failure.
<FS3> Haeleah rolls Alertness: Success.
<FS3> Constin rolls Alertness: Success.
<FS3> Rime rolls Alertness: Good Success.

You paged Kincaid with 'To you, it would look like a walkie-talkie or something similar. If that. It's definitely /not/ Colonial.'
You paged Haeleah and Constin with 'The device he's using emits waves upon waves of red light. It's not of human design.'
You paged Rime with 'The device he has requires him to stick his hands into a small pool of glowing red water. If you're very good at reading facial expressions, you would see him blink heavily once, as if 'interfacing' or communicating with this odd device, which is definitely Cylon.'
You paged Rime with 'From Pol: No. It seems to operate using the same sort of goop [as the transmitter used on Eidolon], but the device itself looks different. Think a hand-held iPad, Cylonized.'

"Wonder if they were doing the same shit inside that one…?" Haeleah mutters. The question is more to herself than the room. "Rutger was a frakking nightmare live and in color. Sinister is right." She narrows her eyes at the blonde figure, frowning as she watches Madilyn work her way through the tape. "Whatever that thing is he's using - the one sending out those waves of red light - that's nothing human-made. No Colonial tech I've ever worked with, at least, and I've put my hands on a lot of it."

"What is he doing with it?" Rime asks - rhetorical at best, pointless at worst - as she sits forward to stare hard at the screen. "Look at how his expression changes when he handles it." She gestures with her pen as the man's eyelids droop shut for a second, rather disturbingly like someone receiving some unheard communion.

Kincaid furrows his brow and takes some notes, but does not appear to have any more insight than has been currently offered. He taps his pen lightly against his pad, peering intently at the video.

"Present investigation suggests the possibility that Humanoid Cylon Agents may be capable of communication through an interior interface," Constin voices on the heels of Rime's rhetorical question. "It must be stated, however, that such a possibility is not conclusively proven at this point."

"As best as I figure, and this is my personal opinion, that device is most definitely of Cylon origin, based on the red lights, the fluid contained within, and the odd method of interfacing, as is what he appears to be doing." The device looks, for all intents and purposes, like some sort of tablet PC, but equipped with that Cylon technology. "The key thing here is that, based on this evidence, we might conclude that whoever this person may or may not be, they are in fact using - seemingly skillfully - technology that is quite certainly Cylon." She nods to Rime at the mention of the change in expression.

"Additionally, a Cylon honor guard of sorts appears to keep this individual secure as he inspects destruction that our own crewmen report having survived while in Kythera. That is the the evidence I intend to present to the JAG, but the purpose of this session is collect alternative opinions. Does anyone have any other thoughts?" Madilyn looks up from scribbling some additional notes based on what Rime says about the change in facial expressions.

Haeleah shoots a little grin at Constin. "Kind of makes you want to cut his head open and see what's inside, doesn't it?" She makes it sound like she'd find it fun. On a more serious note she adds, "I also wonder if they're pure clones, or some weird hybrid of mechanical and biological tech. The toasters were up to some pretty freaky human experimentation shit in Rutger Tower. Frak me sideways if I know why." To Madilyn, she shrugs. "I'm not detective, sir. Or a strategist. I'm just a tech. All I can tell you is this. This tape hasn't been frakked with. At least, not as far as any kind of video manipulation is concerned. What we're looking at is genuine footage of whatever went down. I'll leave it for wiser heads than mine to puzzle out what that is. But we've got good data, and what we're seeing…well. It is what it is."

Kincaid screws his face into a sort of 'huh' look when Madilyn speaks of 'evidence.' "Sir, not to be too basic here, but I'm not sure this hinges on the presence of 'inspecting destruction' and the like. I think it's more that Michael Abbott was in two places at one time. So, absent some teleporting device, he's a Cylon. Isn't that game over?" A beat. "Sir?"

"Either they've all rehearsed this maneuver, or he has some silent method of communication with those Centurions," says Rime, her blonde brows furrowed in concentration. "The Leonis reports referenced other instances of seemingly 'telepathic'…" The air-quotes are quite audible. "…communication between these 'humanoid Cylons' and nearby Centurions."

"If this tape is admissible," Constin begins his words with the qualifier, "Then no, sir-" he answers Madilyn to fulfil the formality of her asking, "The only reasonable explanation for this image is that the individual pictured is a Humanoid Cylon Agent, in a setting which the direct experiences of the Leonis Away Team would confirm as placing the event within the correct time frame.

"We're getting to that. But follow my logic a moment. First, we establish that whoever this person is, he is quite adept at using whatever Cylon technology this is. He's on Leonis, and he's being escorted by Cylons. This we know beyond a shadow of a doubt." Madilyn advances the tape once more, slows it to a frame-by-frame crawl as the individual turns to face the camera, stopping it on the clearest frame she can manage. "Then, we establish to the best of our ability, by visual inspection and comparison with our relieved-CO, that this person is a twin of Michael Abbot. If that's the case, the time stamp of this undoctored tape," she says, looking at Haeleah, "proves that he is in fact a Cylon. He can't, as you've stated, be in two places at once.

To further elaborate on why she's thinking on it like this, Madilyn explains, "It's my responsibilty to think the way a lawyer for the defense might. The crux of this case is, of course, establishing that this IS Michael Abbot, and that he was simultaneously aboard Cerberus and on Leonis. I don't think this is an unreasonable approach, especially when we consider the ramifications such a trial would have on the crew. We must ensure we remain united in purpose, to avoid further bloodshed," she says, again looking at Rime. "And that means being as thorough and precise in our evaluation and procedures as we possibly can be."

Kincaid seems even more perplexed. "What's the debate going to be? If the tape is genuine, it speaks for itself. We don't need to load up with verbiage. We just need to play the tape. And whoever our — panel or our fact-finger is going to be - can just look at the tape and look at the guy at counsel table." A pause. "If we even get that far. My suggestion, sir, is to not overthink it and weigh it down with words. And I say that as a guy who used to use the printed word for a living."

Lieutenant Rime clears her throat, rather pointedly, when the Marine CO looks at her and speaks of being united in purpose. "Have the surviving members of the cameraman's camera team been interviewed?" she asks, looking first at Madilyn, then twisting in her chair to look back briefly at Constin and Kincaid. "Background checks? Were they present at the time of this taping?"

"I guess someone defending him could claim the Cylons had done some…I don't know. Cosmetic surgery on some frakking fleshjob to make him look like the Admiral," Haeleah suggests. "But I think that's stretching it myself, sir. And nothing we saw in Rutger Tower suggested what they were doing involved nose jobs."

"All surviving members of the news team have been interviewed," Constin voices, turning to meet Rime's eye. "Sir." A drawn breath, and he goes on, "As previously made known to yourself, however, the survivors were not present for the filming of this tape. The cameraman died during extraction from Leonis. With the note made that out ability to verify background checks- particularly of civilians, is highl limited, we have looked into it as deeply as presently possible. Sir."

"What the Sergeant's saying, sir, is that the background checks are largely a farce." Kincaid pipes up from his position in the room off to the side from Constin, his droll tone kicking in. "Consisting of, 'So who are you? Oh, really? Okay. Sounds good.' But it's the best we can do."

"Perhaps an identical twin, separated at birth and raised to become a pawn of the Cylons." Rime's voice is droll. She is aware of just how far-fetched an idea it is, apparently. "We've all seen what the Caprican plastic surgery clinics are capable of. Enough money and even we poor pitiful humans can change the way someone looks. We're all aware of just how technologically behind the ball we are, too, compared to the Cylons."

Madilyn takes a moment before addressing Rime's questions, flipping through notes. "The surviving members of the cameraman's team, Martina Dames and Chris Calita, have been subjected to the same background checks as every other civilian rescued from Leonis, in addition to the Colonial military debriefing, given their involvement in several engagements against Cylon enemies with our own crewmen." She nods to Constin, who answers more quickly having been closer to the investigation. "And yes, they both confirm that the camera man, Colin Ashwood, filmed this tape alone. The only tie we presently posess regarding the authenticity of this tape are the handful of crewmen that were given a viewing of the master copy of the tape by Ashwood and his full crew while still on Leonis." She continues by reading off their names. "And yes, I too highly-doubt that the person on this tape is a human twin of Michael Abbot."

"Are there any further issues to discuss as to the tape itself, sir?" Constin asks Madilyn evenly a moment later, as the discussion begins to branch out into theory. The sergeant has kept his boots at shoulder width and his hands at his back for now.

"So the rest of his camera crew weren't there, but confirm the tape was made before our crewmen viewed it. Engineering's verified that beyond all reasonable doubt, and to the best of our technological capabilities, this tape is untampered and recorded a true event upon Leonis." Rime counts off details aloud, as if to remind herself of them. "All that remains, then, is to make certain that what was recorded - what we are seeing - is in fact a duplicate of the Admiral. I'll require an opportunity to examine the cleaned copy of the videotape, but I can arrange that after this meeting."

Kincaid glances at Constin as he speaks, apparently echoing the Sergeant's thoughts in the matter, before looking back forward at Madilyn and the Intelligence Officer.

The segment with Abbot lasts about 30 seconds in total, before the image stops once again. When it resumes, it's sundown, and shows Cylons building another device. This time, the Sedge School for Boys gives away the location as Morningvale. This device, with its shallow hemispherical cap on the top of a tower screams communications device. This time, however, the tape doesn't remain as steady as the other segments. Only about 10 seconds after getting into position and actually recording the tower, a pair of Cylons breaks away, loading their weapons. The video ends abruptly at that point.

"That is correct Lieutenant," Madilyn answers, while the rest plays. "Based on what I've seen, I believe that this is in fact a duplicate of the officer in our brig. I don't think I'm alone in that opinion, either. If you require further proof, the original may be signed out for limited and monitored engagement." Her jaw is set though, and she looks a bit hesitant to do that, however, given past events.

"I have no interest in viewing the original, Major." Rime's voice grows crisp and exquisitely patient. "As I said, I'll require an opportunity to examine the cleaned copy of the videotape. The video quality is superior, and since we've moved beyond debating whether the tape is a forgery, now it falls to scrutinizing the details /upon/ the tape - which the cleaned copy is the obvious choice for. I'll arrange the viewing with the Security Hub, as I did before."

Constin watches the last details of the cylon communications device, as the discussion goes on between Madilyn and Rime. In regarding the room afterward, he regards Kincaid briefly, interjecting nothing, just yet.

Kincaid shares a look with Constin, but also says nothing, watching the tape on the screen in front of him, brow furrowed slightly.

"Very well Lieutenant. You're on the list of authorized personnel to view the tape. The same signout procedures will apply, of course. And speaking of," Madilyn says as she digs around in her files. "The signout sheets, as you requested." There are only a handful of names, neatly separated into two columns for each of the tape copies. Date, time out, time in, crew name, MP name, view station - they're all tracked on that sheet. A copy is given to Rime for her investigation.

"Thank you, Major. I appreciate you being forthcoming with this." Rime sounds pleasantly surprised, if only fractionally so, as she accepts the sign-out roster. She adds it to her clipboard, eyes already lowered to examine the list.

"Excellent. That, I do believe, concludes this meeting. It was my intent to view this tape with representatives from multiple departments and take a consensus on what we are seeing. It is important to me that we are all clear on exactly what is contained on this video, and what evidence I will be presenting to the JAG for potential legal proceedings against the Admiral." With a nod to those in attendance, Madilyn stands, moving to retrieve this copy of the tape and take it into her possession, as well as raise the lights for those same people to find their way out and back to their stations.

"Thank you, sir," says Kincaid. He nods. "If there's anything more I can do." Well, she can just call on him. But she knows that already. "Lieutenant. Sarge."

Lieutenant Rime straightens, pulling herself into a brief, crisp salute to Madilyn before she turns to make her way to the door. Her eyes flicker over to Constin for a moment of frosty scrutiny, before she steps through. She's already looking forward to their next round of video games.

"Major," Constin acknowledges Madilyn. His eye reflects a matching flat chill as the marine meets Rime's regard. "Lieutenant." Kincaid gets a nod to go with the rank, "Lance," before the sergeant lapses back into 'silent escort of the evidence' mode.

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