PHD #174: Distinctions
Summary: Cid and Tillman talk a few things over in his quarters.
Date: 19 August 2041 AE
Related Logs: None
Cidra Tillman 
XO's Quarters
A decent-sized room for a personal quarters, the XO's cabin has few of the plush amenities of the Admiral's but still retains a few more touches than would normally be found elsewhere. There are bookshelves that are stacked neatly beside a line of lockers. The standard-sized bunk is built into the wall with a few cabinets overhead for storage. The desk is a standard issue piece of furniture and so is the chair that comes with it, but there is a plain blue couch against the wall near the door and a respectably-sized blue rug lain out in front of it. This room also has a personal bathroom that holds a cramped shower, toilet, and sink area that is separated by a thin wooden door painted to the same color as the walls.
Post-Holocaust Day: #174

Later in the evening, shipboard time, and Tillman just came off a watch. He's sure to still be awake and even his hatch has been left ajar - the universal XO BatSignal for 'Come on in'. Inside, the man is just getting out of his blues jacket and hanging it up in his locker. Various reports dot his desk but he doesn't seem too keen on paying attention to them at the moment.

Early or late, it's always somebody's shift. Cidra is certainly up and about. In duty greens, which is somewhat unusual for the CAG. It's generally flight suit when preparing to muck about in a Raptor, or officer blues when dealing with the bureaucratic end of her position. She's been inhabiting the greens more in the last few days, however. There is a good deal of planning and coordination of her personnel going down to Sagittaron that has her on the hangar deck for long hours in a non-flight capacity. She is likely coming off that when she drops by Tillman's quarters. A light knock at the door before she so much as pokes her nose in.

"C'mon in!" Tillman hollars loud enough to be heard outside the quarters. He straightens the jacket on the hanger, not paying much attention to who is about to enter for the moment. He reaches up into the locker and removes a glass and sets it on the desk behind him before reaching up into the locker once more. By his movements, he doesn't seem to be in any hurry. All in all, the XO looks fairly relaxed.

Cidra slips inside. "Clive. A good eve upon you." No salute is bothered with, off duty as he is. "I do hope I am not disturbing you." Not that she seems particularly hesitant about the prospect of disturbing him, but good manners sort of require her to say it. "How did your shift find you?"

The XO hears the voice and looks up with a smile. "Cid. Good evenin." He makes a large gesture with his arm for her to come further in. "Nah, no trouble. I was about to have a relaxing drink before I sacked out for the night. Care to join on that note?" Eyebrows loft with the friendly offer as he retracts the bottle carefulyl from his locker. "Eh. Shift is tense. I'm concerned as hell about getting bounced this far into the system. Pewter seems to think its alright but I'm kinda standing on nails. Know what I mean?" He cuts her a wink, opening the bottle with a twist of his wrist. "How about you? Things alright on your end?"

"Thank you," Cidra replies, returns his smile with the barest upward curve of her lips. She moves to take a seat, but shakes her head at the drink. "I will take some water if you have it. I do not drink overmuch in general. It musses with the senses in a way I do not find particularly pleasant." A pause and she adds wryly, "And I have not a good head for it." As for the tension he mentions, she shrugs. "I do not really see that we have any alternative if we are to undertake any kind of search and rescue of whatever people may be remaining on these planets properly. Our reconnaissance found both Sagittaron and Aerilon deserted of open Cylon presence. Is this fearful strange? Yes. Do I trust it shall remain thus? No. But we should take advantage of it while we can, I do think, and keep to the task we came for."

Tillman nods, pouring his small drink. He's not looking to tie one on, obviously. Her recaps the bottle and puts it back, reaching in and returning with a bottle of water. "To each their own. Always need to be accommodating as I can. My wife trained me well." He gives her a sly smile and slides down at his desk, though he doesn't reach for the whiskey yet. "Yeah. That's true enough. I would have preferred to run the op from further out and tagged the Corsair for operational overhead, but all or none I guess. I guess there are also reasons for hitting Gemenon as well. As for Sag, I'm there with you. I meant what I said when I caught you in the hall. I want as many people as we can find. Rescuing civilians ought to be priority one while we can. Whatever the reason for this reprieve in their operations here, I'm not going to be shy about exploiting. Just keeping me on my toes, is all." He takes a long breath, exhaled through his nose as he reaches for the glass. It rests on his knee under steepled fingers for the moment.

Cidra's smile warms a little when she says that, taking the water bottle and sipping from it. "Thank you," she mutters around it, after another drink. "Are you still not smoking?" She doesn't request to light one up herself, though the outline of her omnipresent pack of cigarettes can be seen in her fatigues' pocket. "Honestly, it does seem less a reprieve than a regrouping to me at this point. While we found this area of space and Aerilon apparently abandoned, the Cylons were fortifying even heavier around Virgon when we took a second pass there. My theory is they are concentrating their forces, though for what purpose I cannot begin to guess at this juncture. Anyhow. I actually do concur with Pewter this was the best way to approach things. Leonis was…hard on our people who went to the surface. Too hard. And a near disaster for all of us. This way we are here in force to provide support, can actively coordinate and rotate personnel in and out for relief, and pull ourselves out quick together if worse comes to worst." A firm nod about rescuing civilians being the priority. And about Gemenon. Though she does not address her home colony directly. "Yes, we should have all the intelligence we can gather back from there within the eve. Our Raptors are heavily tasked at the moment but once we have some breathing room I shall be sending out additional runs to the more interior colonies as well. See what they are up to, and where."

Tillman shakes his head. "Dropped that habit. I still carry a pack so I can bum out to my people up in CIC during shift. I let them puff around up there as needed. Light one up if you want." His free hand snakes to a drawer and opens it. An ashtray is popped out onto the desk before he leans back. The man takes a sip while Cid speaks, nodding at the end. "Yeah, I saw the reports. That's got me concerned. The fortification could mean a lot of things and I can't even speculate on what that Eleven might have had to do with it - which may be quite a bit. They might think we've got one helluva weapon." The man can't help but smile with the idea. He doesn't comment on Leonis, though. With it being his plan, its not something he's prone to discussing too much. "I'll leave the tasking of recons to you, Cid. You know your crews and requirements better than I do. I'm damned interested to see what is going on with the other colonies. Especially Caprica. That's been bugging me since day one. And that space station in Leonis' orbit."

"Or whatever the Eleven did might have been part of a larger enemy plot," Cidra says. She does not smoke, though her long fingers do twine around each other in her lap after she's set her water bottle down. "That is not an option we can discount. Yes, the enemy lost eight basestars, but they have thousands more and only machines and abominations that can be reborn to count as losses. And that Eleven mayhaps did think it found the way to gain our trust."

Tillman shrugs. "Honestly, we have no way of knowing how many basestars they are putting to space. Next time we get a prisoner as cooperative, I need to find out how many nukes each one carries so we can get a minimum number. Tag it up to what we know about Warday. But? You are correct. However, its worth keeping in mind that so far nothing that Cylon gave us has proven false. If it was part of a larger enemy plot, she had ample opportunity to bushwhack the hell out of us. The whole fleet could have bought it with her stunt about shutting down the Vipers and Raptors when it KO'd the basestars." He takes a second for a quick sip. "As for trust? She can think what she wants. Or could have. I'm assuming she's still alive someplace." A gentle shrug. "So how goes things with Sag?"

"I saw what it did for us over Sagittaron, Clive. It was in the backseat of my Raptor when it did it. I let it put a knife to my own throat, and those of my pilots, and I thank all gods it did not cut our lives for it. But I go not beyond that. I followed its lead because I had no other choice. Those things might, perhaps, be valuable to us for interrogation and intelligence, but they are still the enemy. And they are still abominations. Do not think just because they wear flesh they are like us. They horrify me far more than any toaster ever shall. And I shall not give them my trust." Cidra takes another sip of her water after all that. "Nor shall I believe I have seen all the Cylons have in mind for us." As for Sagittaron. "I have not been to the surface myself, though I intend to make a visit to it with the next rotation of my pilots. There is much work for the Raptors to do in any case. Though I am given to understand the region we have located the best signs of survivors was territory that was…not friendly to the Colonial government prior to the attacks."

"Fair enough, Cid. But I can't call them anything more than an enemy for right now. Each model might have its own base programming, but its apparent enough that some of them aren't fitting the mold so well anymore. The truth about Salt's eventual packaging may be bogus, but what he did on Warday was not. They had no reason to think we would survive any of this. There was no reason for him to turn on his own other than loyalty. Not to mention the other two Cylons we supposedly have on board." The Major doesn't seem like he's looking for a slam-dunk point to be made but more the simple discussion of ideas. "Glad to hear you are heading down there. I'd love to set boot on a Colony again, but I've got my hands full up here. Also heard that about the initial recon. All I can hope is we can find some people looking to get evac'd. Any word on getting to those old fortifications?"

Cidra speaks not of Salt. That one messes with her ruthless certainty. More water is sipped. The others, however, she addresses without hesitation. "Or they are simply laying in wait with enemy plans as-yet unmasked. That abomination on the Deck, the one who called itself Morgenfield, mussed with my pilots for months. Bombed Vipers, sabotaged Raptors, poisoned air. No, Clive. I wonder about them only to pray they shall be unmasked before they can do us horrific damage." As for the colony, she shrugs. "You should go down to at least inspect things. Pewter can manage the ship for a time. As for the…fortifications." She frowns. "That is not precisely the word I would use for the bases we found. At least, they did not resemble military installations. What the Cylons constructed down there looked more like…prisons than anything else." Chills her, this does. As to that. "That would be a matter more for our Marines or technical departments, I do think. Or Tactical. Exploration of them is a ground operation. Me and mine shall provide all support we can for it, however. For my part, I am most curious."

Tillman dips his head. "And what of the others? Morgenfield certainly caused a lot of death. Losses that can't be replaced. But what about the ones the Eleven claimed are still aboard? That one of them wants only to stay and fight with us. That they miss him and want him to return home. The other seems to remaining quiet for the duration as well - despite their own opportunities to raise hell. I can't stress enough that there have been more than enough opportunities for these two operatives to utterly wreck or destroy this fleet. Especially the apparent technical aptitude the others have shown." Clive lifts his leg to rest and ankle over a knee while he leans back. He still seems conversational as if the academics of it are something he enjoys. Maybe he just -wants- to believe they have an ally. "Prisons. So it sounds like then that these were places like what our teams found on Leonis at Rutger Tower? If that Eleven was truthful about what they are doing with the souls of people…" He takes a breath. The man is obviously chilled by the idea. "Any indication they've been recently housing people?"

"On them, we only have what *it* says to go on. And there have been fearful strange incidents on this ship beyond just the hangar deck, Clive. Gods only know what they have gotten up to, or what they have gathered about us for the enemy," Cidra says. "My thinking? Find them fast. Interrogate them. And, if I had my way, execute them summarily when we have extracted all information that we can and let Medical study their corpses. But, that is your department. Not mine." Of her belief that these things are the enemy, she seems quite certain. A small nod at the comparison to Rutger Tower. "Yes. These creatures, Clive, I shall never trust. As I did say, we have not been inside but my Raptors got fairly close recon in their sweep, particularly Flasher's bird over Sagittaron. All photographs should be available in our report attachments. They resembled structures made to pen people. But they were deserted, like the space above the planet. Power out, no sign of habitation by either robot, fleshjob or human that we could see from the air."

"True. But I'm not sure all of that can be attributed to the workings of human or Cylon. I've seen enough happen in the last six months to make me think twice about my lack of beliefs." That's probably not something Clive admits to easily. "Not sure I can bring myself to order blanket executions on all of them. The discussion the Sister had with that Eleven was fairly revealing, in and of itself. Extracting information isn't a cut and dry matter. Interrogations can continue for years with a willing subject. Especially when we know so little about the enemy." The man takes another sip of his whiskey and resettles the glass on his knee. "I'm more curious as to what happened to all those prisoners. If the evacuation was sudden, it would make sense that they just let everyone go. Corraling so many people? That could take time considering new facilities would have to be built elsewhere." A finger taps the brim of his glass. "What do you think? Just your gut feeling. You think they just let everyone off, Cid?"

Cidra's brows arch at Tillman. Eyeing him speculative. "The gods call to us all, Clive. Some just refuse to hear them. Their voices do not always say things which are to our liking." Her faith is not a thing she speaks of much but, like those cigarettes in her pocket, it's omnipresent about her being. "Let everyone go." It is repeated. Flatly. As if more so he can hear the words again than in any sort of agreement. "No, Clive. Given the destruction visited upon the colonies. Given what our people saw on Leonis at Rutger Tower. I do not think that. I cannot imagine what horrors the enemy may have inflicted on those people, if indeed they were prisons. That remains in the realm of speculation. My gut feeling? At best, I pray the enemy killed them upon their planet's soil, and their deaths were quick. What I fear? A death beyond horrors. Or prisoners taken with the Cylons from this planet, perhaps? Held elsewhere. These are the options my gut suggests."

The XO smiles and looks away. "Faith is a gift I have yet to receive, Cid. If I find it in my lap one day, I don't think I could turn it away. But thus far the Gods seem to be satisfied with the status quo. Maybe one day I will find myself unable to deny it. At the current pace, I'm not sure how long that will be but it will arrive eventually." Its a side of Tillman the man doesn't generally show. He looks subdued and reflective. Almost a nervous topic for him when it doesn't involve academic speculation but more his own private thoughts. Clive is quiet for a long few seconds before he finally speaks again. "I can't see machines bothering to get them out of their pens for an execution. If recon didn't immediately spot bodies, I doubt they were executed. I just hope, like you, that they didn't end up like that one Centurian that was found on that station above Sag."

"Your speculation is kinder than mine," Cidra says simply. She says not more to question his hope of freedom for any would-be prisoners, but she clearly doesn't share it. "In any case, there do still appear to be people down there, albeit not near those…bases. Matter of finding them now." As if it will be that simple. "We shall see what we shall see. So. How are you, Clive? Beyond the tactical, I do mean."

The man nods absently, watching a point far beyond his desk as he thinks about the topic. "Raptors aren't going to cover the scale we need," he finally says. Eyes finally take on focused thought as they lift back to her. "I'm going to order radio comms blasted across all freq's at the planet. Then I'm going to put every damned sensor this fleet has tasked to recovery. If someone wants off this planet, they aren't going to miss their ride." Its a simple sort of resolve that seems to have come from someplace probably between the two last topics he mentioned. Her last question gets a light chuckle. There's some humor but not an overflowing amount. "It could always be worse? Been dealing with a lot of personal stuff lately. Things I've been trying not to think about. Quinn sorta forced it all out of the thoughts I shove to the back though." Family. Not much else Clive ever concerned himself with more than them.

"Most excellent," Cidra says. "We have all our resources at our disposal, we can do the job properly. Raptors can still get in close, however. Vipers closer still, in some of the areas with particularly thick foliage. At that level it is a matter of eyes on the ground as much as anything else. Well. We shall find what we shall find." When he mentions Quinn, she nods. Wryly, but not without a certain amount of sympathy. "Jugs has told me…a little. I do not ask, honestly. I abdicated any say I had in what lies between long ago." Does she regret that some? Perhaps. "She has seemed upset of late, however."

Clive nods. "Sometimes I forget that there's more people than those here with us on the ship. People that need our help. Shameful." The man has always held crew dearly. Maybe too much so. "Yeah. She's not happy. I told her I wouldn't marry her. I gave my word to my wife when we exchanged vows that she would be the only one. Ever. That no matter what, rings would only exchange our hands once. That..and I.. Well, I have a hope that she's still alive someplace. No foundation to it. But that's just something I can't escape despite heavy doses of logic." He isn't looking for pity given the tone of his voice. More of an admission of guilt. He has too much respect for Cidra to go shopping for a shoulder.

"Well, at least we *doing* something now," Cidra says. Soft but fervent. She sounds not even particularly concerned with what they are doing about it, so long as it's something. The rest she just listens to, cloudy blue eyes resting on the XO. As always, her features are carefully schooled. There is a measure of sympathy there, however. "I must say it, Clive. Where I come from, a man who created a child with a woman and did not do honor by her or it…they would be held in great Shame." Her tone emphasizes the term to capital. There may be painsticks and the like involved with shaming on Gemenon. Still, she doesn't sound precisely judgmental. It's just a fact. "But. That is not my affair. And I cannot call you wrong. Honestly, I worried for you when you began this liaison with Jugs. I should have, I do think, been more forceful about it then."

"Aye. My wife was Gemenese. We married for precisely that reason. When she became pregnant with our first? There was no question. Her parents demanded it but I already knew they would. I pre-empted it." Clive smiles a little and finishes his drink. "But I made a promise. And I hold on to these hopes. As much as I value and thrive with your opinions, Cid, I'm not sure it would have mattered. I needed more than time alone. I can't relegate Mags to a simple comfort because she's so much more. But..its hard to explain." He was ready to resign over it. That's all that can be inferred, most likely. "Anyhow, enough of my problems. Let me know when you;re heading down to the surface? I need to get some rack in the next few minutes before I'm tempted to have another."

"You did seek comfort with Maggie." There is no recrimination in Cidra's tone. Still a touch of sympathy. But she says it bluntly. "Clive…there is no shame in this. It is…human. But…" She pauses, as if searching to find the right words. "…my husband died near ten years ago. And in those years, each man I have lain with, I have seen his face in them. I did not any love them, Clive. These were some of them very good men. Do not misunderstand me. But I was not always…kind to them." She shrugs. "Well. I know what I am now, at least, and I am honest enough with myself to make it clear to those I…seek such things with. Anything less is cruel, I think. I know you do not mean to be so to Maggie, but I do suspect you have been in part. I was. That is why I worried. One cannot help but be…unkind in such times. And I did not warn her away from it. My regret is for her part."

Clive nods, looking to the empty glass. "Mags reminds me a lot of my wife. That's probably why I sought her out. I can't help thinking about her when I'm with Maggie. I used to hate myself for it but now?" Another long breath. What can you do? He said he just shoves everything to the back of his mind. "But I know how you mean. I could try to make things better but I think she wants a ring. And I just can't do that. I take my word to my wife very seriously. As much as much weight as you might lend in your prayers and beliefs." He clears his throat and rises from the desk slowly. "Do you.." Clive looks back to meet her eyes. "Are you ever glad that your husband wasn't alive to see what we've seen? And had to go through? Or would you hold on to the idea that maybe, if he had still been alive, that he might still be out there?"

"You are in rather a mess, and the opportunity to fix it in some manner cleanly is gone," Cidra says. She's probably not a shoulder anyone wants to cry on, really. "I was, as I say, a cruel person to the men I was with in the years after Daedrek died. Not intentionally, but I was selfish and I was not a person he would have liked very much. I…endeavor not to be that anymore. But one must face up to what they are." His question makes her blink. And fix him with those cloudy blues eyes. "My husband is gone. And we shall never be together again. I wish more often than I can say that this was not the way of things. But it is as it is. And I remain."

"Heh." Rather a mess. "Yeah, you hit the nail on the head there." Clive looks back to the glass he's set on the desk. He lets the words from Cid find their own way into his thoughts without any movement. "So then the question becomes whether or not I'm being true to myself, Maggie, and the person I married, by being the person my wife loved." His eyes close. "Shit, Cid. I couldn't find my way back to that person if I tried. We've both had to order some horrible things. Things that would I know would have horrified my wife. Things that still follow me into my sleep. You probably know what I mean." He seems like he might go on but instead shakes his head and looks back to Cidra. "I have no idea what she would think. Not anymore." The tired expression on his face transcends the need for sleep. This is probably why the man looks beyond his forty years. By nearly a decade.

"I have done my duty, and my pilots have done theirs by this ship. And we can both sit here in this cabin having this conversation because of that. I will carry their names upon my heart and try to pay their toll when I cross the last rivers. I doubt it shall be enough, but I will try." Cidra has finished her water. The bottle is left on the table. "And perhaps I shall burn in all the hells for what I have done. But that is a different matter. That is duty. What we talk of now is the personal. And I have no excuses of necessity to hide behind when I hurt people on that level. That is all me."

"Sometimes I wish I were faithful so I could hope to repay their sacrifices. Instead, I just try to put meaning to it." He crosses his arms and sighs. "I try to do that so that it softens the blow. So people know that when I have to give shit orders, its not a personal negation. I don't want to hurt them. But I guess I'm blurring personal and professional again." He growls, the frustration of it all plain as the tire in his eyes. "Sometimes I hate this damned job. I hate what-" His jaw locks shut and he glances to her for a moment. That doesn't need to be finished. A hand reaches out for the glass to replace it in the locker.

Cidra stands. "I hate it, too," she agrees soft. "But I do not worry so much what my husband would think of my orders, Clive. My Daeds was a Viper pilot. He knew what this was. But you do blur two things I think wrongly. And let yourself off too easy because of it." Again she pauses, like she's trying to find the right words. "With him I was not Toast. I was not a pilot or an officer. That is another thing. With him, and with those who I have been with since, I have been just Cidra. And when I have been cruel there, it has not been as a pilot or an officer. It has all been on me personally, and I have no excuses for it."

"I do. I constantly wonder what she would say. If she would understand or even talk to me. I just hadn't considered it in a wider..context." But the next part strikes him harder than she may have intended. Clive stops in front of his locker, shutting the door gently and staring at it. Damn. But he doesn't comment. It all hit too close to home and its probably apparent in the way he lifts a hand to lean against the locker. "As always, Cid, you've got a lot of good points," the man allows quietly.

"I did say I understood, Clive. I wish I did not." Cidra watches him a beat longer, then clears her throat. "I am perhaps still cruel. But at least I am honest with those I seek…comfort with now. We are all owed that much, I do think. Anyhow. I should go." Leave him in some kind of peace. "I want to go over my rotation schedule again, make sure no one is down on planet too long. See when I can carve out some time to go myself. Try and sleep, yes?"

Clive shakes his head a little. "No. Not cruel. Just wish Abbot had taken the CAG as his XO rather than the TACCO." He still doesn't look at her. "I appreciate your honesty. Always will, Cid. Thanks. Like I said, just let me know when you head down." The man's other hand reaches for the locker handle again. "Sleep well when it finds ya."

Now that part surprises Cidra. And makes her snort. Dismissive. "Phah. Clive, I could never do your job. I fly Raptors. This is what I am. The rest of my duties, I try to the best of my abilities because my people are owed it, though I can name you one of my pilots who is better than I at a given one of them. I have not the head to manage an entire ship. And I could never make it behind a tactical console. I fly. You plan. Professionally, we are both better for it. Personally…well, we both muddle through as best we can, and make our apologies to those we need to." With that, she leaves him to it.

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