PHD #024: Cassandra
Summary: Tisiphone visits CIC to warn Kulko about the upcoming op.
Date: 2041.03.21
Related Logs: All of Merrell's appearances, the op about to follow.
Kulko Tisiphone 

Combat Information Center — Deck 7 — Battlestar Cerberus
Post Holocaust Day: #23
The central nexus of the ship, the fighting capability all stems from here. With entrances on both sides, an entire section of the wall will twist its armored glass and doorframes out of an air locked position and allow access. At the rear of the room is a standard hatch that allows access as well. Computer terminals sit in a semi-circle around the main plotting table in the center of the room. DRADIS and other essential readouts are displayed on screens that hang from the ceiling. Forward and aft are a set of glass plots that hang vertically from the ceiling and provide the crew with the ability to coordinate air traffic operations in the easiest way possible.
Condition Level:3 — All Clear

Kulko stands at the plotting table, eyes locked on one of the overhead DRADIS screens. All is calm and serene, with CIC largely devoid of activity, but the ensign is singleminded in his task. A mug of coffee is cradled between both hands, as he watches… a whole lot of nothing.

"-sign Kulko? Yeah. Just over there." The voice of one of the men at the entrance, making sure those who enter have A Reason. He half-turns, gesturing in, to the person awaiting his instructions — Tisiphone. The bandages on her scalp are gone, leaving only the stitches curling around the side of her eyesocket, her re-socketed shoulder is starting to move a little more like a real shoulder, and she's all but lost her double-footed limp as she steps in. Soon all that will be left as testament to her crash-and-burn will be the cast.

Kulko flits his eyes to the hatch at the sound of his name, and steps around the plotting table on an intercept course. "Tis," he greets quickly before correcting himself, "Ensign Apostolos. You're lookin damned well today. What brings you to the gator head?"

So this is where it all comes down from. Tisiphone's never been up here before. There's a long inspection of the consoles and screens before her gaze settles upon Kulko. She spurs herself back into motion to close the gap. She's looking better, until she's seen at closer distance; reddened eyes and an ashen tone beyond her normally-pale skin. Haggard, and smelling of cigarettes, though not of bourbon. It might explain the sidelong glance given to her by the guard as she entered. "Hey." A flicker of warmth, and a ghost of a smile at her mouth before it flits away. "You got a minute? Somewhere we could talk in here?"

Kulko glances around the room for a few moments, briefly making eye contact with the POs at comms and navigation. "Yeah, without a doubt. Here… not so much." He considers, eyeing the hatch. "Map room is better. Let's take a walk." He starts toward the exit, motioning Tisiphone along to follow.

Map Room — Deck 7 — Battlestar Cerberus
Post Holocaust Day: #23
The one object that dominates this room is the one it is named for: the giant plotting table in the center of the room. Bottom-lit like the plot in CIC, this one is twenty feet across and about the same distance wide. The maps, which are rolled and kept in a locker at the side of the room, provide much more detail than most of the charts in CIC and are especially useful in planning tactical operations. Unscaled models of ships are available to be situated on the surface of the table and risers on each side of the room allow for a small audience to watch or be briefed. A single large LCD screen is built into the wall at the far end to display reconnaissance or other supplemental material.
Condition Level: 3 — All Clear

"Sure." And Tisiphone will follow, her steps a little heavy and noisier than they ought to be, loose-laced boots slopping around on her feet. She stays silent during the short trip to the Map Room, gaze travelling along the unfamiliar corridors. As soon as they enter, she asks, "Smoke?" She's already digging out her crumpled pack, stitches twisting at her eye as she lifts pale brows in query.

"Don't mind if I do," Kulko answers quickly, fishing the steel BS-132 emblazoned lighter out of the hip pocket of his duty blues. "Hope you've been enjoying the bottle. What's on your mind? Must be important, if they gave you a visitor's pass to leave Viper country." He sparks the lighter to life, holding the flame out in courtesy.

Mention of the bottle briefly thaws Tisiphone's expression again. "Yeah," she murmurs. "Better believe it." She's about to say more as she looks up at Kulko, but her gaze flickers away instead, down to the cigarettes. Two. One's turned in her fingers, offered filter-first to the man; the other she lights with a puff of smoke. No answer is given at first, the first lungfuls of smoke taking precedent. Finally, with an odd expression: "You a praying man, Stephen?" The question is light, despite the look that accompanies it.

"Used to be," Kulko admits, taking the cigarette and snapping the lighter closed. He pulls a long drag off it, watching the paper burn away. "Went down to see the good Sister after… my front row seat to the fireworks. Just didn't have the same ring to it. Didn't square me away inside, the way it used to. You know what I mean?" He sets his coffee on the edge of the map table.

Know what he means? Tisiphone studies him for a second before she looks away — up to the ceiling, which she blows more smoke at. "Yeah," she finally says. "I think a lot of people are feeling that way." She slouches her left hand down into her pocket, giving her resocketed shoulder a bit of a break, and continues to smoke with her casted hand, head ducking down to her fingers for each drag. "What if I told you something terrible was going to happen if Command goes ahead and jumps in to Polaris on Tuesday?" The secret plan that's, apparently, not so secret after all. And again with the light tone but the odd, sleetstorm stare.

"Well first I'd say that I'm damned tired of information security being a joke on this ship," Kulko channels a bit of Lieutenant Oberlin at this. He leans back against the table, looking Tisiphone up and down carefully. "Then I'd ask where you were getting your intel from. And I'd genuinely hope that it was somethin' you saw out in the cockpit, not down in the chapel."

Frayed. That's a good word for how Tisiphone is looking. Warp and weft pulling apart from eachother. Mind the gaps. She also looks utterly, perhaps unnervingly, certain of what she's just said. "There wasn't anything to see out there that the cameras didn't catch," she says, answering the first half of the rhetorical question. Then the second, if indirectly: "I'm serious, Stephen. Something terrible's gonna happen if you guys go ahead with this." Her breath catches for a second; she looks down and away, dragging hard on her cigarette.

"Terrible? Like what? The whole frakkin lot of us eating nukes?" Stephen doesn't quite think his response through - it's nearly instantaneous and far too bitter. He looks down, and ashes his cigarette into the XO's ashtray. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean that. We can't change orders cause you saw something go bump in the night, Tis. If you've got something solid, I'll bring it to the XO, and maybe he'll even tell the Skipper. But 'I've got a bad feeling' isn't gonna cut it." A pause. "And you knew that."

Tisiphone's eyes snap up at the bitter response, and her stance tightens in a barely-avoided flinch. Her weight rocks back slightly on her heels as if she was considering a step back, then balances out again as Kulko's tone of voice returns to something closer to normal. Eyes pointed down at the floor, whatever thoughts she's wrestling with can be seen in the twist and tick of her stitches. After a long drag on her cigarette, she lifts her eyes back to Kulko and says, simply, "Yeah. I knew that." Flattened expression, maybe a bit sad. "I'll- um. Let you go, you've got work to do. Thanks for listening."

Kulko takes up his mug in his free hand. "Listen to me, yeah? We have to go. If there are others… survivors, reinforcements, anything. Can't pass up that chance. I'll talk to the XO, and see if we can maybe scout it first with a couple Raptors. But we need to get there and figure it out." He stabs out his cigarette. "Tell me what you saw, specifically."

Tisiphone shakes her head evasively, fiddling restlessly with the last dregs of her own cigarette. "You said it yourself, Stephen. You wouldn't understand. But, here-" She steps forward to crush her cigarette out in the same ashtray as Kulko used, looking up at him while she's close. "I'll tell you my dead friend warned me, you can look at me like I'm a nutter, and it'll make the whole dilemma easier for you." Flippant and defeated.

Kulko runs fingers through his hair, exasperated. "Alright. Listen. I'll float the idea of a limited recon mission to the XO. But you gotta keep mum about this." That last accompanied by an accusatory finger right to the shorter ensign's sternum. "You go spreading it around the ship that you're chatting up ghosts, they'll ground you so fast you'll break your tailbone, too."

There's a quick intake of breath at that jab, followed by a tiny, airless, "Ouch." Tisiphone's suddenly all smiles, despite it, the gratefulness running so deep that the expression's almost all in her eyes and barely remembers to curve her mouth at all. She looks from the finger-jab up to Kulko's face, studying, the relief bringing her close to giddiness. "I will. Promise." She takes a small step back, putting some distance between the finger and her sternum, then just like that, she's heading out the door with a renewed bounce to her step.

Kulko can only shake his head slowly, picking up his now-room temperature coffee and draining it before heading back to CIC.

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