PHD #081: Deduction, Sabotage
Deduction, Sabotage
Summary: Cidra is briefed by Cadmus on the progress of the Case of the Exploding Viper. The preliminary findings are unsettling.
Date: 18 May 2041 AE
Related Logs: It Will Come When It Will Come; Have One For the Road
Cadmus Cidra 
Security Hub - Deck 6 - Battlestar Cerberus
More than just an office for the Marines and their XO, this room has remote surveillance views of the Brigs as well as a state of the art communications center built into the far bulkhead. A locked and heavily armored door to the aft leads into another room, the white lettering on it reading 'ARMORY.' There are a few desks scattered around the room for getting necessary paperwork done and the Commandant's picture hangs on the wall next to one of the President.
Post-Holocaust Day: #81

The security hub's atmosphere is that of a ghost town. Papers are piled high upon empty desks, and the hum of the monitors is the only chatter to keep the room's lone resident company. His pen scritching acrss a sheet of lined paper, Cadmus is seated at his desk; a large whiteboard covered in photographs of the port hangar, ruined vipers, and people cover the the surface amidst a web of lines and marker-writ notes. For a moment, he doesn't even look up. When he does, though, there is only a moment's pause before he's on his feet, snapping off a sharp salute: even in the darkest hours, the MP Corps seems to hold to protocol.

The CAG is not a usual visitor to the Security Hub. She's hardly one of the ship's career criminals or anything of that sort. But in Cidra comes, at the appointed time, to look up a certain MP. She finds her way back to Cadmus' desk without too much trouble, straightening herself, and acknowledging his salute smoothly. "Corporal Maragos. As you were."

Sliding into 'at ease', Cadmus inclines his head with a murmured, "Major Hahn." He pauses a moment - perhaps only one or two seconds - before continuing: "I expect you'd like a status report on the investigation into Petrel Six Four Eight's explosion?" It is a carefully chosen word: not Captain Sitka's Viper, but the designation stencilled across the majority of the photos behind him. One hand gestures back in the whiteboard's direction, and then to the chair near his desk, as an invitation to sit.

"Captain Sitka's Viper, yes," Cidra replies. The use of the personal rather than the numerical on her part is probably also intentional. She sits across from her desk, long legs crossing, hands folding in her lap. "It was a most disturbing incident, and I am sure I do not have to tell you. Going into danger outside the ship, that we are trained for. Enemies on our own hangar deck…that is something else entirely."

"Before I tell you what we know, I'd like to know thoroughly have you been briefed on the situation. It will likely save time. To fall back on the old saw, there is good news and there is bad news. Fortunately, I believe the good news is outweighing the bad at this point in the investigation," Cadmus says, stepping over to the board and giving it a preliminary once-over before facing you once again.

"I have the broadstrokes of the incident but I have not been through the official statements in as much detail as you likely have," Cidra replies. "I know Shiv and Lasher were readying for a CAP rotation when Shiv's Viper did explode. Thank all gods, without him or another pilot inside, though I understand one of the Deck crew was not so fortunate to escape the incident unscathed." She bows her head briefly. "I shall admit I could use a refresher."

At this, Cadmus clears his throat and begins pointing at various photos which have been arrayed upon a timeline beginning some weeks ago. "We've traced the explosives found aboard Captain Sitka's craft to supplies missing from Storeroom 1881A - likely stolen during the Cylon boarding incident in the Parnassus Sector. In the confusion, after the room had been opened by the CMC, it would have been easy to lift the explosives without being noticed. There is no evidence of tampering with the lock. I've personally conducted an inventory of all explosives aboard the Battlestar, so there is no risk of a repeat of the same type of incident," he says, taking a deep breath after the first blast of information. "Some time between the explosion and the two days prior, one of the deck or avionics crew planted the charges. We know it's deck or avionics, because the placement of the charges was so precise and so well hidden that only someone intimately familiar with that model of Viper could have placed it. Unfortunately, this has also revealed their expertise, and narrowed our list of suspects."

Cidra's jaw tenses at that last, blue eyes narrowing at the photographs on the board. She does her best to keep her face composed, but a mix of anger and grave unease is visible in the lines of her features. "So there is no doubt it was sabotage…" Not that she could have doubted it, really, but there's a cold sort of dread in having it confirmed. "Have you any idea who perpetrated this, or do you think them still on the Deck? With their hands on my pilots' throats each time they work on one of the birds?"

"No, Major. This is the act of a saboteur who is both dedicated and skilled," Cadmus says, shaking his head with a small amount of sadness to his expression. It's really the only small amount of emotion he's shown so far. "They are, indeed, still on deck. My recommendation to the Chief has been that no solitary crewman is to have access to any ship, so that a lone saboteur cannot botch a repair deliberately without being caught - and I believe the Chief has agreed to this policy." He gives another pause, tapping a finger against several dossier photos: "There is a saving grace for the investigation in all this. Regulations have been followed to the letter, with regards to maintenence; no deck crew member is allowed access to any Viper without written reports of the maintenence they intend to perform, countersigned by the Chief Petty Officer in charge of those vipers. This leaves us with seven suspects: PO1 Lessa Morgenfield, the Petty Officer in charge of the viper in question. Also, PO3 John Borenstein, SPC Wendell Montroy, SPC Jack Anan, SPC Terrence Yards, CN Seth Wickenham, and CN Tyr Bannik."

"That is something, at least," Cidra says softly, though she does not sound precisely confident. She purses her lips, as if sifting through precisely what she wants to say in her mind. "There is something else. I do not know if you have been made aware of it or if it is even related but…when we encountered the Cylons last in Sector Six-Four-One. When they jumped in on us as when we were *supposed* to meet our people back from Leonis. One of my Viper pilots was killed. Not by enemy fire. And it was not friendly fire, either. I have checked our footage, he was not anywhere near either the flak from the capital ships or our Vipers. His plane had some trouble launching. It was behind all the other Alert Vipers in getting out of the tubes. He did finally manage to get off the ship but when he did…" She pauses. To collect her voice back in a properly composed tone. "…his plane burst. For no reason that I can see."

Cadmus listens, his hands stilling until they fall limply to his sides. Reaching into one of the filing cabinets beside the whiteboard, he produces an unmarked manilla folder with several sheafs of paper, printed photos, and other clerical whatnots within. "Yes, I'm aware. I've asked the Chief to give me a full report on what he learns from the wreckage and telemetry data, but…" he says, trailing off. Clearing his throat, he tries again: "I'm not a technically minded person, Sir. Until they give me a report, I just don't know. But I wouldn't rule it out as a possibility. But I stress: I don't know. I just can't confirm it."

"I understand, Corporal," Cidra says with another small inclination of her head. "Have you any advice for me and my people throughout all this? If there is anything we can be doing to ensure the safety of our craft - or assist you in your investigation - I am at your disposal. This whole matter…it chills me. I shall admit it. Have we not enough enemies without turning against each other? Who would do such a thing?"

"I intend to ask Borenstein that very question. As I've been led to understand, usually the pilot of a given craft is on-hand during all major repairs, because they can assist the deck crew in ferreting out problems," Cadmus says. He runs one hand over his mouth and chin, and his eyes narrow as he examines the board. "Petty Officer Morgenfield mentioned that in *this* case, there was no pilot consultation. Something about people having grown too attached to certain pilots. Officer Borenstein in particular had been problematic. Naturally, this raises my suspicion, though it also relieves me. The act of a jealous saboteur is more easily explicable than a Cylon sympathiser."

"Typically it is best if they are on hand. Though with the way we are having to trade planes among the pilots now, that is not always possible," Cidra says. "We have more pilots than birds to put in the air right now, and none truly have 'their own' Viper any longer. Too attached?" A slim frown comes to her lips. "You believe the motivation behind this may have been personal?"

Cadmus stares at the picture of Borenstein for a long while, his eyes narrowed as he concentrates upon it. There is a tenseness to his hands which suggests that any arrest he might make will not be as gentle as it could be. "I don't…believe…anything about his motivations. Yet. But I don't think we can rule it out at this juncture. But we also cannot rule out Cylon sympathies, given that the charge was rigged to blow *within* the launch tube, as soon as the engines switched on. Such an event would have invariably crippled the Cerberus's fighting capabilities and left us almost entirely defenseless," he says, eventually turning back to face you. "There are many isolated factors here that simply do not add up to a coherent hole yet. But it's only a matter of time. Very soon now, I think we'll have enough information to make the appropriate arrests."

"Cylon sympathizers…all gods, I cannot fathom such a thing," Cidra says, her tone coming out hushed. Secure as the office is, she can barely make herself say it aloud. "They destroyed our homes. All we loved. Our sacred places…what evil would sympathize with that…?" She doesn't seem to be asking him so much as the universe. Which gives her no answer. She clears her throat. "I thank you for your diligence on this, Corporal. As I tell my pilots, clear eyes, steady hands. Good hunting." Voice grim on that last.

Raising his hand in a slow but firm salute, Cadmus says, "I only wish I had better news to give you, Major Hahn. I will be certain to let you know the very instant I have more information that will keep our pilots safe. But the best thing they can do right now is trust that the CMC is doing everything it can to keep them out of harm's way," he states.

Cidra stands and returns the salute, as fluidly as the one she gave him coming in. "The CMC I trust. But I shall rest easier when I am sure I can trust the hangar deck again. I shall leave you to your labors, Maragos." And that she does, departing his office, and leaving him with his board of disturbing puzzle pieces.

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