PHD# 417: Desertion
Summary: Devlin welcomes Cidra back from Areion / sickbay, and then they debate whether McQueen is likely to return and whether he should be shot if he does.
Date: 19 Apr 2042 AE
Related Logs: That second half of the Apr 15 air wing battle.
Cidra Devlin 
Portside Hangar Deck
Planes. Knuckledraggers.
Post-Holocaust Day: #417

Devlin is in his flightsuit, though he has the top part tied around his hips. He's standing near one of the Vipers used during the engagement over Ophion, idly resting a hand on one of the dents near the nose as he chats with a deckhand.

Cidra is prowling the hangar deck. Not in her flight suit, for her part, but in green Navy fatigues. The CAG is still on light duty after her misadventures over on the Areion, though the only marks from it she's sporting is a slowly-fading blackened right eye, and a bandage over a cut on her temple. "Ensign." The greeting is to Devlin, but it seems to be the deckhand she wants. "Could you get me a report on the condition of that Areion Viper Ensign Burke retrieved, please? Once the Chief is available I would like to speak with him on the subject of stripping its modifications. Get it into our regular flight rotation."

"Major," Devlin straightens up a little as Cidra approaches, and he looks about to say something else, but stops. The deckhand listens to the instructions given and nods, saluting, "I'll go track it down, sir." He nods politely and hurries off. Once he's gone, Devlin offers, just a shade tentatively, "It's good to see you, sir. I hope your head's healing good?"

Cidra acknowledges the deckhand's salute with an instinctive one in return, before turning her attention to Devlin. "It is fine." A rather clipped answer. After a pause she elaborates on it, "I fared far easier than most of the others captive upon the Areion. Medical says it is little more than a concussion. I should be back flying within a week, if nothing awry occurs."

"Good," Alex nods as she elaborates, and nods a little more, replying, "Good to hear it. We were all worried about you, when we heard. It's… I'm really glad you made it back alright," he offers, with a smile that's small but sincere, "And that that's all over with."

"Thank you, Ensign." Barest hint of a smile comes to Cidra's lips at that, tone softening a touch. "I am also most grateful. And I hope it is over with." Though for the latter, she does not sound so sure.

Devlin frowns a little, at that hint of uncertainty. "Don't you think it's over with?" he asks, brows angled upwards again with the question. He runs a hand through his hair and shakes his head a little, admitting, "I definitely hope it is. That… that's not what I signed up for, you know?"

"Before the worlds fell, Ensign, the Colonial Navy existed to fight and fly and die against our fellow humans, in these latter years," Cidra says. Her voice not without a trace of bitterness. "But for my part, I pray it shall never be done again. It sad dark in my heart when we faced the S-S-L-F on Sagittaron, and this was likewise most dark times."

"Yeah, and that's part of why I never signed up before," Devlin replies with a shrug, "I mean… I thought about it, a couple times, but… yeah, I didn't want to have to go to Sagittaron or wherever and have to kill people. Fighting the Cylons is so different, I don't have any problem with that, but…" he shakes his head, and then adds after a beat, "And, I mean, I don't really think we had another choice, about this, but… I really hope we don't ever have to do that again."

"I pray we do not." Cidra's tone is still uncertain, however. "When Major Tillman removed Admiral Abbot from Command, though, our Marines fought each other in the corridors. That was mutiny, too. Though at the time I called it right. Even looking back, I do not see that we had another choice. Yet did Commander Kepner say thus to himself when he took control of our Fleet? Are you a believer in Eternal Return, Ensign?"

Devlin listens, and nods a little more, glancing at his boots as he does so. "Yeah, I guess so," he replies, and then of Kepner, he shrugs, "I bet he probably did. It sounded like it, from his, like… announcement thing." As for Eternal Return, brows furrow in a thoughtful frown. "I dunno," he admits, shaking his head, "I'm not sure what that is?"

"All this has happened before, and all this shall happen again." Cidra quotes it without a thought. "The chaplain and I have spoken of it before. And Queenie and I spoke of it oft as well." And there is a bitterness in her tone when she speaks the name 'Queenie.' "Some scholars do believe it has to do with the cyclical quality of fate. What has happened before recurs, if in different form. Perhaps it is a flaw in humanity as well. Doomed by our stupidity to repeat our mistakes, over and over and over again. Until we end ourselves."

"Oh," Devlin replies, and he nods down at his toes once again as Queenie is mentioned. "I don't know," he admits after a quiet moment or two in which he is presumably thinking, "Whether I believe in that. I guess… I'd like to believe we can get stuff right eventually," he says with a shrug, "Otherwise, what's the point?" He scratches at the back of his head and then asks, hesitant, "Is there any news about Queenie? And Bannik and Sawyer? Has anybody heard from them or anything?"

Cidra speaks no more on the cycle of fate, though from the slim frown on her face she does not quite share Devlin's optimism. Further mention of McQueen only deepens her frown. "On that, you know as much as I. Lieutenant McQueen has been declared AWOL. Specialist Bannik as well, though there is a lack of clarity as to how willing he was in the theft of the Raptor. The pair of them, and Sawyer Averies…well, you were out flying when that craft jumped away, from all reports. You saw more than I. They remain…gone."

Devlin continues to frown as well, seemingly still mulling things over, the gears turning not-so-quickly in his head. He frowns harder, more immediately at that lack of news. "Huh," he replies, and then shakes his head, "I don't know. He didn't say anything, really, you know? That made me think they were gonna jump, anyways. Not that I remember. Just about the missiles, and…" He pauses, and glances at Cidra, and then tells her, "I don't know if you listened to the tapes, or somebody already mentioned it or something, but… he said to tell you he loves you."

Whether Cidra's heard that before or not is hard to tell. Her expression remains inscrutable, and set in that frown. "Queenie is gone. I pray he and Sawyer Averies, and young Mister Bannik, are safe. But Queenie fled, like a coward." It is stated flatly. "Perhaps he thought the victory of Kepner and the Evocati inevitable. Well, many in this Fleet would not have liked to live to see that come to pass. Yet he did choose to run, rather than fight beside the lot of you as you were taken to pieces out there."

Devlin winces just a little, and shrugs, offering, "They did launch a bunch of missiles at the Areion? And, I mean, Queenie wasn't even supposed to be on the flightline. He didn't have to come out and do that. Maybe…" He is clearly grasping at straws a bit, but he's trying, "Maybe they didn't jump on purpose. It seemed like he had some sort of plan, you know? And Queenie's not… I don't think he'd just run away. We were just talking before, you know? And Evan was saying how we should just do nothing. Just sit and do nothing. And Queenie laid into him about it, and was all about how we have to find humanity a new home, and outsmart Kepner and everything. To then just run away?" He shakes his head, apparently having finally talked himself around to making up his mind, "Nah, I don't believe it. I have no idea what happened, but I don't believe he'd leave us."

"You cannot 'accidentally' jump a Raptor, Ensign." Cidra's tone remains flat. "Queenie made his choice. As I said, I pray he has landed somewhere safe, though my suspicion is he has merely doomed himself and Sawyer Averies and Tyr Bannik to death out in that single ship. If he returns here, he shall be a deserter. The best he can hope for is to be stripped of his rank. The worst…in the First Cylon War, some deserters were shot. Perhaps there are few enough of us left that it would not come to that." Perhaps. She sounds not at all sure.

"He's not an ECO," Devlin points out, "Maybe they meant to jump out and right back, but screwed it up. I mean, we can't know what his real plan was, and it was total chaos, everybody was doing crazy shit, nobody was really sure what was going on or anything… I mean, I know it doesn't look good," he admits, "But I just really don't believe Queenie would desert. Not for real. If he did it's because he thought doing it would help us somehow." He seems to have convinced himself pretty firmly by now.

"It looks very bad, Ensign." Cidra continues on in that same level, flat tone. "If there is some explanation, it would do my heart good to hear it, but I can see no other than that Trevor McQueen fled the field of battle rather than stay and face what was to come with his comrades. And he has not returned. All I can hope for is his safety. If he is a deserter - and that seems the likeliest possibility - I also hope I never do lay eyes upon him again."

"He said 'if this doesn't work,'" Devlin seems to remember suddenly, not quite interrupting, but pointing it out to Cidra as soon as she has finished, "He said 'if this doesn't work, tell Toast I love her'. So he wasn't planning on not seeing you again. Which means he was planning to come back. It just… didn't work. Whatever it was. Or hasn't yet, maybe."

Cidra remains grim-faced on the matter. The 'tell Toast I love her' part, if anything, seems to further chill her mood. "If Lieutenant McQueen has some grander plan at work, I can see it not. I will mourn the loss of a good pilot. And I will pray we are somehow able to retrieve Sawyer Averies and Tyr Bannik." No mention of praying to retrieve McQueen. "Clear eyes and steady hands, Ensign. I should be getting along."

Devlin falls silent then, giving up the fight, it seems, at least for now. He nods, faintly apologetic as he replies, "Yes, sir. I'm sorry if I…overstepped, Major. Have a good evening."

"Ensign." And with that, Cidra prowls away.

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