PHD #390: Danny's Cylon-Detecting Lament
Danny's Cylon-Detecting Lament
Summary: Kincaid asks around about the Gun's Cylon-detecting ability.
Date: 23 Mar 2042 AE
Related Logs: Cost of Business
Kincaid Benoit 
Colonial Pete's — MV Elpis
Colonial Pete's is the long-awaited successor to Kythera's Aquarian Pete's, though this version is more bar than strip club. Not that there aren't any strippers here, in fact there's even a raised platform complete with pole built just for them. The majority of the room, however, is dominated by mis-matched tables and chairs and a long bar. Lighting is haphazard, the harsh fluorescents that came with the place usually left off in favor of lower lighting from scavenged lamps and even a bit of neon rustled up from somewhere and hung behind the bar. There's a pretty decent sound-system playing a wide variety of music, and a couple of low-tech bar games, like a mini pyramid arena.
Post-Holocaust Day: #390

Kincaid is seated at the bar, a half-drunk glass of moonshine mixed with — what's that? Some of the last cola in the world? Something like that. He has his reporter's steno pad laid out in front of him, and a pen in his hand. He seems lost in thought, and like his pad is only half-heartedly holding his attention. It looks like he has some names scribbled on it.

The man who eases onto the seat next to Kincaid isn't the sort that goes easily unnoticed. Tall, broad-shouldered, with an air of confidence and command that makes military an easy guess even out of uniform as he is. "Let's make it a double," he orders in a sonorous baritone, laying his voucher on the bartop. He turns to look at Kincaid as the barkeep tracks down that drink. "Slaving away?" he inquires, "And on your off-duty time as well. A Marine's work is never through."

Kincaid turns his head up at the sound of a voice next to him — and one that is apparently speaking to him. "Slaving?" asks the Cerberus Marine, as if weighing how that word applies to his work. "Perhaps. More — lamenting, I suppose." He gestures over towards the seat next to him, a wordless invitation. "But one can't help if one's off the clock when the urge to lament strikes."

The man lifts his elbow from the countertop as he takes the stool beside Kincaid, and then leans once again, turned sideways slightly to regard the other man. "Lamenting your work?" he puts together, the little quirk of humor in the corner of his lips making it perhaps a deliberate misinterpretation (if it is that). "Well, we all do that sometimes, I'm sure," he offers, "These are the days of difficult decisions; if one isn't careful there can be quite a bit to lament."

"I more find that there's something to lament if you are careful. If you're careful, you see just how complex things are these days. If you're not careful, everything seems easy. Black and white." Unusually philosophical coming from a Marine. Kincaid offers a hand over to the (much) bigger fellow; "Danny Kincaid. Lance Corporal. Cerberus."

"Being too careful can certainly lead to lamentation as well," the larger man agrees, as his drink arrives and he thanks the barman with a smile and takes a sip of moonshine. He listens as Kincaid goes on, and smiles, revealing perfect, white teeth, "You don't sound like you began life as a marine," he says, "Let me guess, a new recruit?" When Kincaid's hand is offered, it is taken, and shaken firmly by a broad, dry grip. "Bartholomew Benoit," he introduces himself, "Lieutenant Colonel, Areion."

It takes a moment as Kincaid rifles through his mental files to match the name and rank with a position; while this rifling happens, the hand is shook with the firmness that Kincaid can manage. "New recruit? Depends how you look at it. Nine months is like an eternity in the Fleet these days." But he does confess: "I started as 'Danny Kincaid, Libran Post. Just one more question, Admiral.'" In other words: One of the QUODEL reporters.

Benoit chuckles, the noise beginning from and subsiding to a rumble deep in his chest. "True enough, true enough," he agrees, "Nine months is several lifetimes, now. An impressive feat. Ahh, a reporter?" brows lift a little and he nods, "I might have guessed. Your investigative skills must be getting put to good use among the MPs, I would imagine."

"Something like that," Kincaid says, gesturing at his pad with the end of his pen. "A lot of routine background checks. A lot of desk duty. But now?" He looks at the pad. "I'm supposed to be the one to separate the human from the Cylon. How am I supposed to know who a Cylon is? What even makes a suspected Cylon?" Hence, the lamentation.

"Well, Danny — do you mind if I call you Danny? — the problem that we're coming to terms with is that in most circumstances, we can't know who a Cylon is through simple investigation. Of course, there are the ones whose faces we've learned, and whose pictures we circulate throughout the Fleet, but that only gets us so far." He takes another sip of his drink, long fingers curved almost the entire way around the plastic cup it's served in. "We can narrow down people who are more likely to be enemy agents, however. Who do you have so far?" he asks, "Anyone?"

"You're a Lieutenant Colonel, sir," says the Marine investigator with a smirk. "I think you can call me whatever you want; but Danny is just fine." He of that name then considers, glancing down at his pad. "Not really. I mean, special methods have been around since, what? Since before the new year? And I've just had a few days to start sniffing people out. It's hard to think about who might have done what that was suspicious."

"We're off-duty," Benoit replies, "Even if you do still seem to be working. Please, call me Bart." He takes another drink and then looks over his glass at Kincaid's legal pad, eyeing the notes on it, such as they are. Brows rise after a second, and he sits up a little, "It's been clear for quite some time that there were likely Cylon agents still hidden among the fleet," he points out, "You've really never given any thought to who they might be before now? I'd think an investigative brain like yours, it would have been difficult not to consider it."

Kincaid nods at that, as if confessing: "Of course I've thought about it. But there's a difference between barroom speculation and hauling someone in." He taps at his pad, sighing. "I've got one name. Circe Lagana. Reports say that the Hybrid on the second foundry stared right at her as it kicked the bucket. Odd, right? I mean, it could be nothing. But." It's clearly got him torn.

"If it's nothing, then she'll be cleared," Benoit shrugs, glass twisted slightly as it's lifted, drunk from, and set back down, "We don't have the luxury, at this point, of ignoring our instincts. If someone seems off, if something feels wrong, we can't afford not to follow through and check it out. Until every Cylon agent in this Fleet is found and removed, we'll never be free, Danny. They'll always be two, three, Gods know how many steps ahead of us."

"And in the four months we've had this chance, how many have we uncovered?" That's the lament right there, from Danny Kincaid. "Out of how many?" He tries to shake it off, taking a gulp of his soda and moonshine. "But you know what? Might be the next one. Never know until you try."

"More than we would have otherwise," the Areion marine replies, "We have, at this point, pretty much ruled out the possibility of another skinjob existing among the crew of the Areion. We've tried to be sensitive to the desires of the rest of the fleet to do things their own way, but like you said, we really haven't seen any results. It's time to get serious about this. Like you said," he smiles as he lifts his glass, "You never know until you try. It could always be the next one."

"That's the spirit." Kincaid downs the rest of his moonshine and coke and clicks the pen closed. He stands from the bar and tucks both pen and pad back into the pocket of his trousers. "It was good meeting you, Bart. Maybe we'll nail these skinjobs together." But there's a new edge, a new lament in his tone. Whatever it is, it's left unsaid. For now.

"Good meeting you as well, Danny," Benoit replies, "I look forward to reading your list." He smiles, "Don't take too long on it. And don't put too much of a burden on yourself," he adds, smile friendly, encouraging, "Yours won't be the only list, after all. Have a good night."

Kincaid turns at that, finally asking what has been on his mind for all this time: "How long has it been since you've — been able to check things out?" It's just an afterthought. Why hide the ball anymore?

Benoit swallows and lowers his glass, shrugging again, "It was not long before we met up with the rest of you," he replies, "Around the end of August, maybe?"

"Yeah. Thanks." Kincaid doesn't ask, however, the next question he has. "We'll hopefully put this to some good darn use." And then he's really gone.

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