PHD #162: Clear
Summary: Wherein the appropriateness of giving the CAG pr0n is discussed, as is the future recon of four colonies.
Date: 07 Aug 2041 AE
Related Logs: The Colonel Pewter March
Cidra Trask 
CAG's Office - Deck 10 - Battlestar Cerberus
Post-Holocaust Day: #162
Though it's not much bigger than the average ship supply closet, the office of the commander of Cerberus' air group has as much luxury as one can hope for aboard a battlestar: a hatch that locks. It is dominated by a blocky gray metal desk straight out of standard Navy supply. Behind it is the room's single indulgence, a high-backed rolling chair of almost comfortable-looking brown leather. That one, the CAG probably had to import herself. A few other chairs are shoved against the wall, able to be rolled over should visitors to the lair require one, though those are of the standard not-terribly-comfortable Navy offices variety.

The aforementioned desk contains a computer that looks rarely touched and an ashtray of greenish glass that is obviously frequently used, as well as the standard office supplies. The surface is usually cluttered with files, squadron reports, flight schedules and other aerial bureaucratic sundry of the day. A metal carafe, filled with water or coffee or tea depending on the CAG's whim, is usually at hand on the desk's corner. The rest of the office is packed with filing cabinets and wall shelves, the latter of which hold various flight manuals and military and historical books.

Any decorations on the walls are limited to professional awards and mementos from Major Hahn's past tours of service. It is largely devoid of the personal, save for one item: upon the shelf just behind and above her desk, serving as one side of a bookend to a collection of Raptor manuals, is a wooden statue of a small brown owl with very large eyes. A person might get the feeling of those eyes following him around this confined space.
Condition Level: 3 - All Clear

The folder of pr0n Trask loaned Cidra is returned, with a note handwritten in Cidra's neat script:

If you think it is so easy to get yourself demoted out of squad leadership, Bootstrap, you are mistaken. But I will remember this.


The Harriers SL received a summons to Cidra's office in the hours following the off-duty card game with the CO. Cidra awaits him there now. Back in her duty blues, seated at her desk, smoking and sipping on what the Support personnel that work full-time in the offices generously call 'coffee.' She waits.

By the time Trask arrives, he's long-since reverted to his duty greens. In the hand that he does not raise into a salute, he holds a cup of steaming Deck java. "Major. I've brought you some celebratory coffee." Surely, she was victorious. Why else return the pr0n?

Cidra rises and salutes with a hint more snap than usual. Though she does take the coffee cup. The brew in there is far less foul than the coffee-flavored water she is currently trying to drink. "I will take it as a preface to an apology. There is nothing more to celebrate. I was entirely bereft of luck at the Colonel's table. Sit." She does again. "What in the *gods* names possessed to bring *that*?"

"Apology?" The man might well be genuinely bewildered. As he starts to sit, the CAG continues, and he begins to see where this is going. Straight-faced, he mildly protests, "That was some of the best stuff in Prince's stash." The quality of the pr0n is not what is prompting expectation of an apology, but when does that ever matter? "I'm sorry that it didn't meet your standards."

"I do not have 'standards' for pornographic materials!" Cidra snips. Umm. That came out wrong. "It was *highly* inappropriate. I was not about to put… *that* sort of thing up as some sort of wager to my boss or anyone else at that table. What do you think that would have suggested about me?" Not that skin mags aren't one of the more effective forms of barter currency around the ship nowadays. But this seems to have hit upon one of those Gemenese cultural nerves the woman usually manages to submerge.

She's serious. For a moment, the ECO is taken aback. Then, when what he deems to be the utter absurdity of the outburst hits him, those expressive brown eyes of his roll. "Geez, I dunno. Maybe that your crew appreciates you enough to give you some of the choicest currency in the Fleet. Frak, Toast. You're a lifer. You know that's the kind of shit that gets wagered. I know you're kinda uptight, but I still never pegged you for a prude. From what I heard about the participants of the Colonel's last game, you woulda gotten a /frakton/ of chips for any of those images. They were even laminated." Which means they will resist wear and tear. "Not my fault his prudish Pee Oh finds military life offensive." To an extent, Trask is honestly a bit upset. Disappointed, at the very least.

"I cannot imagine anyone involved in that game betting all their chips on *that*," Cidra says, firmly. She clearly believes that, though the validity of that statement is probably highly debatable. She fixes Trask with a level look. "What others want to wager and indulge in is none of my affair. The existence and… utility of such things I accept. I do not deem certain things… appropriate to put on display in such a public manner, not for myself personally. If that makes me a 'prude,' so be it." A pause and she adds, "I know you intended to be… helpful. But I was embarrassed." It is admitted with some reluctance. She is a lifer, who shares both a berthing and head with oft-naked men and never seems particularly discomforted by pilot banter. Some things have been more firmly compartmentalized than others, though, clearly.

"Maybe not /that/ game," Kal concedes, "but the /last/ batch of players /were/ the kind who /would/ bet their chips on some of that stuff. How in the Nine Hells was I suppose to know that Petty Officer Prudey would opt to make Round Two a more high-brow crowd?" Whether it's liked or accepted, it is a sound counter-argument.

Drumming the fingers of his left hand upon his thigh, he carefully considers how to reply to the CAG's confession. "Look, Cid," he says, fingers stilling as he leans forward, "If I had known you'd freak out like this, I wouldn't have opened the vault." Probably. The moment his antics actually cause the people he likes deeply rooted discomfort, he tends to pull back. "You're not, uh…" You know, is what his expression and head gesture suggest. "…afraid some youthful indiscretion will surface, are you?" /Mostly/ pulls back, anyway. "'Cuz if that's what this freak-out is about, you can go through everything and destroy all the evidence."

For the record, he actually sounds serious.

"Youthful indiscretion? Are you suggesting that I… that I would… I am not some bedswerving harpy!" Cidra says, shock evident at the mere suggestion. Her hands fold white-knuckle tight on her desk. Perhaps resisting the urge to slap Trask. She takes a deep breath. Taking a moment to calm herself. "I am not 'freaking out'. It was simply… not appropriate. And I wanted us to be… clear upon that."

Leaning back, the hands go up in a 'whoa' motion. "Okay, first of all, indiscretion doesn't necessarily equate skank, unless when used in the same sentence as the term Caprican socialite or celebutant. /I/ am not suggesting you are some manner of bed-swerving harpy, as you put it, and I'll even be nice enough to refrain from commenting about the vigor of your protestations." The lady doth protest too much? Perhaps. "And considering that in all the years I've known you, this is the first time I have heard you yell… Hells, I don't think I've even heard /about/ you yelling at anyone… So, yeah. In my estimation, you're freaking-out."

Cidra considers that a moment. "I never have had occasion to yell at you before, have I?" This surprises her some. "How very odd." The sarcasm is light but evident. Another long exhale. Because she /did/ freak a bit at that last suggestion. "Where I am come from, men and women do not… exchange such items so publicly. Unless they are something of a… skank, as you put it." Ahem. She isn't yelling now. "As I did say, I know you were only trying to… help. In your way. Just… do not do it again, please?" A pause. "For a moment, I had thought this was some sort of ingenious plot on your part to get yourself out of squadron leadership. And as I did say, it will not work."

"That statement is as full of shit as the fertilized fields of Aerilon." Beat. "Once upon a time." That isn't the point. "You've had plenty of occasions to yell at me. You just never bothered. Even when you probably should've." Wryly, he smirks, although there is something self-deprecating about it. "Anyway, I'm from Tauron. We tend to be direct. I, in particular, tend to be brazen, but this is no secret. Can't really say I've ever much interacted with any Gemenese beyond you and Gabrieli." And Dom also tolerates the ECO's antics, for the most part. So. "I'll make a point of not publicly giving you such items, in the future. And since I like you, I'll point out that this is the time to tell me to not do so privately, either." That, right there, is his version of a Mea Culpa.

When the squadron is mentioned, the SL snorts. "Please." Briefly, a look is leveled at the CAG. "Short from murdering someone not on a Command-approved hit list, we both know the only place I'm going is /up/ the chain-of-command." Which, really, doesn't at all please Trask, but he's resigned himself to his fate and has done an admirable job of making the very best out of his misfortune, at least as far as his job performance goes. Everything outside of those duties he takes oh so seriously is fair game for his mischief.

"Captain Gabrieli…" Rank used oh-so-professionally. "…and I come from rather different backgrounds," Cidra replies, fingers unlacing from their death-grip on her own knuckles to pick up her cigarette again. "And we have both lived off-world for quite some time. One never quite gets some things out of one's skin, however." A mere snort at the end of that Mea Culpa. "Privately, you are bright enough never to offer. This is why I do not bother to yell at you usually, Bootstrap. In your own way, you are sensible. You just cannot at times resist pushing too far."

The job performance bit makes her nod. "That comes around to the point of why you are here, actually. The CO has some tasks in mind for our Raptor contingent. And I had some specifics to his tasking of my own." What? He thought this meeting was all about improper use of pornography? Freak-outs aside, Cidra isn't one to send out official communiques for personal matters.

Considering he's yet to actually have been unable to get out of any trouble he may have gotten into, Bootstrap could argue that he's yet to push too far. Noting that, however, is more luck than he feels like pressing, at this juncture. Instead, he reaches into a breast pocket to fish out a cigarette and a lighter. "Lay it on me," he murmurs, ciggie betwixt his lips, flint sparking into a small flame.

"Colonel Pewter is interested in running renewed reconnaissance to the outer colonies. Sagittaron first. Then Aerilon, Virgon and Gemenon," Cidra says. "He did say he wants to see if their forces have regrouped or reorganized in the time since our initial looks out in those areas, and how much if so. Particularly after - with the aid of the Eleven - we managed to hit them so hard over Sagittaron. Ideally, this should be done quietly. I am interested in seeing if we can make better use the FTL and engine signature masking techniques we applied during the games back in Uram. Since we have a bit of time to plan and outfit Raptors properly for stealth in this."

Inhaling and then exhaling some smoke, Trask asks, "Why those four?" To the rest, "Can't say we've made much progress with signature masking. I'm still not sure if those Heavy Raider transponders gave us away or not. I'll speak with Deck and Engineering, though, to see if we might get some insights from the ships we hauled."

"I am not certain if they did, either, though I would not want to chance it again if it seems likely they were what failed us on Leonis," Cidra says. "Do speak with the technicians about it. Partially, I do think the Colonel is interested in those colonies on that perimeter of Colonial space. So we shall not have to go too deep in. I also think it is a matter of action and inaction. Action on our part, inaction on theirs. Aerilon was the colony lightest hit by the Cylon attacks. Sagittaron and Gemenon suffered heavy attacks in certain key areas but, outside of those, large swathes were spared." She tries to keep her tone carefully professional as she plows through this, all of pragmatism, as if she weren't in part discussing her former home. Her features do manage to remain schooled, though her fingers toy with her cigarette a bit more earnestly as she goes on.

"These were the colonel's suggestions. And to my mind, I will not argue them. For this reason: I think these would be ideal spots to begin a search for survivors. We know from Leonis the Cylons did not finish off all of our people back there. Some still remains. Perhaps, on these jaunts out, we can find traces of it." And this is the part that's really got her interested in these missions, clearly. "Virgon is the oddity to me in all this, frankly. It was nearly as hard-hit as Aquaria. I presume - as with Sagittaron - that because we have undertaken so much salvage and other efforts in space there that Command is interested to see how the Cylons have grouped to counter that."

The SL simply listens, then faintly nods in understanding. "How close are we talkin' here? You mentioned survivors." Which means biological scans, which subsequently means a certain proximity. "I do propose re-sending the initial recon teams, as they'd have a better idea of what's changed since our initial intel. I'll go over the AARs and see who flew where, and if they're still with us." Quinn, obviously, will not be returning to Aerilon. And even though he has no love for the so-called crown jewel of the Colonies, Trask asks, "What about Caprica? It had to have been spared so much for some reason. Preferably not one so simple as 'Hey, why not lure the humans here 'cuz they wanna know why the frak we didn't go full-throttle'."

"Where possible I concur, in terms of which recon teams we task," Cidra says. "And I would like to get down deep enough for biological scans for possible survivors, if we can find a way to do it without within acceptable risk to our Raptor teams." 'Acceptable risk' these days equals 'not absolutely certain doom' of course. A pause. "That is a good point about Caprica. The sparing of the cities there was very… incongruous. Perhaps the colonel did not consider it due to its central positioning in the Colonial systems. In any case, it is worth proposing a jaunt there to command, at least. It would be no more a risk than returning to blasted Virgon."

"Probably would be more worth the risk, too," he comments about Caprica before taking another drag. "Virgon's trashed. I don't think anywhere there was hit as lightly as Kythera. Plus, not sure there's any scrap still worthy of salvaging, let alone the time." As for the central positioning of the Colonial systems, "I'm not seeing why that's pertinent, to be honest. Just because it would be like shooting fish in a barrel, I still expect the Cylons to shoot… or worse, if those Fives and Twelves are involved."

"I think the Colonel only thinks it only pertinent in terms of the commitment of our own resources," Cidra says. "Shorter distances for jumps, less expenditure of tylium for what may or may not be feasible. If we are successful, we can perhaps go deeper. But I do agree Caprica is worthy of closer investigation sooner rather than later. If we are able to get the risk to our Raptors within acceptable limits, I would like former residents of the colonies we scout to be involved in the planning for this as well. At the very least, to identify areas we should concentrate on as possible hubs for survivors." A pause, and small frown. "Fives and Twelves? You speak of the skinjobs? Major Tillman has showed me some of that information, but I fear I have not gotten too deep into the specific abominations." Lips twist. Aren't they all alike, really?

To all of Cidra's points, Bootstrap faintly nods. "Yeah," he says, leaning over to tap some ash into the tray. "Shaker was a Twelve. Some kind of anomaly, supposedly. That model is one of the most violently anti-human, also supposedly. The Twelve Money Shot shot in Kythera claims that Shaker was terminated, which, based on our most recent intel, I imagine means his consciousness has been purged and that he can no longer resurrect." Sweet, huh? "The Fives are the haughty, bitchy ones who were so zealous in razing Gemenon into nothingness. Also, the other model to be running the sicko chop-shop in Rutger Tower."

Cidra nods. "Major Tillman told me this. That this… copy of him that served with us refused to turn against us during the initial attacks. I still remember him, Boots. Flying against the enemy, right into the teeth of them with us all. One of the hundred and forty-seven lost that day." She admits, very soft, like she's afraid to say it aloud, "That is how I remember him. Whatever he was." 'Him', not 'it', with Shaker. She doesn't even seem aware she's made that slip. Not that she has much time to dwell on that. Trask's note about the Fives makes her look back up, eyes sharp, fingers clinched around her cigarette. "There was a particular model that ordered that done to Gemenon?"

"I wasn't there for the conversation that Yazdah transmitted to Kulko's team outside the tower," the ECO admits, "but that's what I was told. That model is quite the zealot. Spouted about heretics during each of several encounters. I also heard that Yazdah denounced the sheer prejudice with which Gemenon was attacked. And something about some Twos poking around the remains, looking to find information about something." Bringing the cigarette back to his lips, he adds, "You'd be better off speaking with Kulko, or Sitka and Apostolos. They were there."

"The Cylons bombed all of my holy places," Cidra murmurs, tone low, but that is not always an indication of softness with her. As Trask pointed out before, she rarely yells. And it's not the louder anger from her that runs deepest. "They spared so much of the planet outside them, but they burned the holy places to cinders, to nothingness…" A short nod. "I shall speak with them. And review all we have gathered on this… Five."

Misotheist that he is, sympathy really isn't forthcoming. Still, it matters to Cidra, thus it sucks, but that's about as far as he can emotionally extend himself. And since she said that she'll speak with the mentioned people, Kal really doesn't have anything to add. So, he vaguely nods and smokes some more. "Well, I'll go over those recon reports and investigate our signature masking options. Maybe Medical will find something that'll prove to be useful."

"I suspect having someone from Medical involved shall be essential," Cidra says. "Perhaps even on the Raptor runs themselves. They may know better than we how to read any heat signatures or bio-scans." She still talks of that with utter professionalism, but it's clear her mind is wandering to other places just now. She stands. "Very well, Bootstrap. We should have a decent amount of preparation time for this, so we shall speak more upon this within the coming days. If there is nothing further, dismissed."

"Not better than an ECO," Kal smirks, but leaves it at that. Rising, he points out, "Corpsmen are always welcome. If it were up to me, they'd be mandatory. That's another conversation for another time, though." So, with that, he sketches a salute, and offers a parting, "Until then, Toast."

"Until then," Cidra says, letting Trask go. Once he's out, she'll close and lock the hatch behind him and return to her desk. In general, she leaves her door ajar. Apparently, she does not want to just now, however.

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