PHD #007: Evil Necessitates
Evil Necessitates
Summary: Sawyer tracks down King for an interview regarding the Picon Anchorage Masacre, but the party turns strange when a towelled Sofia tries to sneak through, and Archer swoops in to shut down the festivities.
Date: 05 MAR 2041 AE
Related Logs: What Sweet Price Freedom.
Sawyer King Sofia Archer 

Marine Offices

The marine offices are, well, offices. And sitting at one of the desks is a man half-dressed for duty. Even still, he's pushing through paperwork, slogging like he is in the trenches.

The hatch opens and a tall woman strides in, purpose in her gait and not a lick of hesitancy as she marches the rows of desks. As the stops at Jeremiah's, she politely raps on the edge of it in lieu of a proper door. "Sorry to interrupt. Staff Sergeant King? Do you have a moment?" As if to sweeten him into saying yes, the reporter gives him one of her winning smiles.

The man's eyes raise up slowly, thinking he is probably about to have to kick the crap out of a Private. Who else would be coming in this office? But instead, he's met by a reporter. And her winning smile. "Actually, I appear to have several moments." He raises an eyebrow then as he leans back in his chair. "And what brings you around here, Miss Averies?" Ooooh, some marines actually know that the news exists.

"Well, I had hoped to speak with you regarding the Picon Anchorage incident. It's my understanding you're the one that recommended several enlisted men and officers for accommodations following that night, so I hoped to get…well. Your side of the story." As he hasn't offered her a place to sit yet, Sawyer just sort of stands there in the void between desks, fidgeting with a pad of paper and a pencil.

King nods slowly at that. He's taking a bit to think about what he says. Unfortunately for her, these offices aren't made for people to come sit around in. If anyone is on the other side of that desk, they are usually in some kind of trouble. "My side of the story, eh?" His voice is clear and velvety in tone and seems to bear only the slightest Aquarian accent. Just enough to be pleasant, really. "You know…I've both heard and said that one quite a few times myself. Usually, that's not really what it means."

Sawyer's smile turns a bit wry. "Well, it means I'm going to write what I'm going to write, and if you'd like what I write to be influenced by your viewpoint then a few minutes of your time is a small price to pay." Instead of sitting, Sawyer just nonchalantly leans against the edge of his desk. "But I imagine when you say or hear that typically, it's right before someone gets reprimanded. I assure you, that's not the case this time. I'm only looking for the truth so I can bring that truth to others who need and deserve to know. So. Whaddya say?"

King nods, "Alright, I'll give you a little bit of my time. Not like I don't have a lot of it right now." He sighs, clearly exasperated having to talk about this. Again. "First, let me ask you a…hypothetical questions." He tilts his head curiously as he finds himself a little distracted, just enough to give her the 'elevator eyes'. But then he gets back on track and says, "If someone is bearing down on you, wielding a weapon…let's say a crowbar, right? If someone is bearing down on you with a crowbar and they are going to bash your brains in, and when they're done with that they are going to go and crush the skulls of everyone you know and work with and care for but your only chance of stopping them is the gun in your hand, what do you do?"

"I prefer rhetorical questions as opposed to hypothetical. Then I don't have to answer." Sawyer's smile gets a little pinched at the corners, so as a distraction she looks down at her pad of paper and flips it open. "I'd react in self defense." The answer is simple, the implication is not. "So walk me through the events of that night?"

The subject of the interview just smirks now. "Hard to hold that smile sometimes, isn't it?" He takes a bit to assess her more even far before he begins his recap. "I know you're a reporter. Obviously. But have you dealt with the military before? Done a lot of embedded work?" He adjusts his position in his seat and shuffles some paperwork, making sure secret stuff stays secret. "I remember how that was, being embedded. Especially the first time. You try to smile and not seem off-putting when you're doing the interviews but it's hard. We deal with some harsh, dark stuff. Stuff that civilians can't even really comprehend, right?" He shakes his head then, "And sometimes you go into it with your editor telling you to rip these guys a new one, maybe even wanting to, but when you hear what they go through and see it for yourself…It's real hard not to think of them as nothing but heroes, right? Especially the dashingly handsome ones." That is supplied with a playful, mischievous and possibly lascivious wink. "But even with all of the sympathy and possible hero worship, you just can't hold that damned smile. I wonder what will happen to you when you can't hold it any more. When I dropped it? Yeah…I ended up becoming one of those frakking marines."

Sawyer gives a slight laugh, but it sort of sticks in her throat and doesn't quite sound entirely mirthful. "What you're doing, is avoiding the question, Sergeant." Nope, she gave him an inch and he decided to take a mile, so she's not answering any more personal questions, at least for the time being.

King shakes his head, "And what you're doing, Miss Averies, is forcing a laugh to try and make me seem a little stupid. But, you know…" With this little pause in his speech, he takes a look around. "There is nobody else here. So who in here do you want to think I'm stupid? It's obviously not me." He twirls his finger in the air a bit before pointing it right at her with a slight 'pop' of his lips. "It's clearly for you. Makes me seem less correct, yeah? Easier to deal with me that way too. Trust me, I know." Now he tilts his head again, kind of waiting for a reply. But he cuts his own pause short. "You're probably about to fake being angry and then insist that I answer the gods damned question, right? Try and gain some momentum and push the ball back to my end of the court, right?" He shakes his head, leaning forward now. "Interesting thing about interviews that they might not have taught you in school. The sacrifice of the interview is that…when it's happening, the person being interviewed has all of the power. They can duck, dip, dive and dodge all day. But the reward is that when it's over? You, the reporter, has a ridiculous amount of power. You can make somebody's career or even tear them down. And all starting with the phrase 'Do you have a moment?'" He chuckles to himself then, shaking his head once more. "Amazing, really. But I'll make this easy and just give you 'my side of the story'."

And so he does. "I'll skip right to the 'good bit', though so you don't have any more of your time wasted. As you know, we had to evacuate the Anchorage. And the only way we could do that was through the boarding tunnel connected to the ship. Myself, being the highest ranking marine on location at the time, rounded up some other marines and we escorted the civilians through the tunnel. At this point, there was 5 of us marines. 5 unarmed marines escorting over 200 civilians and a number of Cerberus crew and the QUODEL. When we got down the corridor, there was a checkpoint already set up by one of my fireteams. That's 4 marines. They were armed. Then the rest of us armed ourselves. That's now 9 armed marines. The battle outside, in the meantime, was getting worse and worse. So I prioritized. /Cerberus/ crew first, then QUODEL, then civilians. We had just gotten through most of QUODEL when the anchorage itself came under fire. The civilians panicked and rushed the checkpoint. Warning shots were fired and they didn't listen. I had explained to them that the best bet for survival was with calm. But they wouldn't listen. It's hard to get into that mindset, though. One that says that it's better to stay calm when there is danger." He pauses here, taking a bit of a breath and catch himself from getting too depressed here. "And they wanted to save each other. So badly. I don't blame them. Who could? But to do it, one guy was trying to pry open the panel that controls the airlock doors, you know? Just break the airlock, make it stay open so everyone could run through. Then there'd be no having to choose, right? But so you know, that would have killed us all in the end. The decompression when the Battlestar pulled away would have taken all of us out and then interfered with Cerberus' shiny new jump drive. Could possibly even have left the Cerberus floating in the wind with those attacks going on and I will mince no meat here when I say that fight was lost. Everyone would have died if that guy was successful. And that guy would have been successful if we didn't open fire. And yes, I put my marines in for commendations. They put their duty to protect this ship and everyone on it before their own morals. Before themselves. They decided that they wanted all of us to live and to do that, they would sacrifice their mental and moral health, maybe even their very souls. Of course I would put them in for awards. And if those get rejected, I'll put them in again. My marines did what was right. They saved everyone aboard this ship." Note his use of 'they' and 'them', not 'we' or 'us'.

Sawyer merely quirks a bemused eyebrow as he starts, but she doesn't interrupt him to either confirm or deny his suspicions about her interviewing style. As he plunges into the story, she stays silent, her pencil obediently moving as she starts her notations. It's all in an odd sort of shorthand, that mabye even Sawyer herself will be hard pressed to decipher when it comes down to quoting him, but it never pauses. Only when he seems to taper off, does Sawyer seek out direct eye contact again, a good indication that there are more questions forthcoming. "Who gave the order to fire the first warning shot? And who complied?" No judgement in her voice, no judge and jury in her tone.

King hrms and furrows his brow. If she is about to attack one of his marines, he's ready to fight back it seems. "The team leader in charge of the checkpoint. And the team with them did. Do understand if I am loathe to give you any names."

Sawyer ticks one eyebrow up just a hint making her expression slightly lopsided. "I have the list of names up for accommodation. I can ask around and use the power of deduction, if need be. If you don't wish to give me the names, Sergeant King, that's your choice. But then you risk me getting it wrong, and even if I later have to print a retraction, it'll still be out there. Did anyone refuse the order?"

King raises an eyebrow. "Really? Got that already? Well you can try to talk to everyone then, see how that works out for you." He shakes his head then, still not answering. "And as for the refusal on the warning shots? I immediately ordered a cease fire so it doesn't even matter whether or not anyone was refusing. A couple of folks didn't fire when the real shooting started, but I'm not going to deal in the who or why. I don't blame them and they did nothing wrong."

"And what about you, Sergeant. Did you discharge your weapon?" Sawyer's near King's desk, leaning lightly against the lip of it as if she was never really offered a seat. She has a pad of paper in hand, and a pencil poised at the ready. Even though the Staff Sergeant is avoiding, evading, or otherwise denying her some direct answers, she merely presses on and asks a different question.

King nods, "Yes. I did. I fired the first shots to take a man down." He tilts his head, curious and challenging. "You think I wanted to burden my marines with this and not bear the load with them?" He shakes his head, "No, I shot the first man that night. Make no frakking mistake about it. I'm not proud of it." His tone makes that /very/ clear. "But it had to be done."

The shame shuffle. One of the many hazards of communal heads. It's that slinking walk one does when they've gone and forgotten something important for a shower. You also tend to take the most roundabout route you can. To that end, Sofia has chosen a long way around back to the berths. She has a towel about her head and neatly wrapped around her. She's modest as can be, nothing exposed or near exposing. Sofia is tiptoeing, sneaking along. Although in passing the office, she pauses and peers, noticing Sawyer and King. Ah crap. Her eyebrows twitch. What to do. She tries sneaking past…

Sawyer's smile has slipped away somewhere during this conversation but the lines of her face never hardened. They just remain respectfully…neutral. Perhaps even annoyingly so. At his answer, Sawyer makes another little scritch scratch on her pad of paper. "Do you think there was any other option?" The reporter is leaning against the edge of King's desk, as if just having a casual conversation. Eyes flick up as another person passes through, widening just a hint at the sight of a woman in a towel in a duty area no less. "Isn't that against regulation?" The amusement in her voice is renewed, as if Sofia has provided a pleasant, if momentary, distraction.

King actually nods his head, "Yes, I think there was another option. If the civilians hadn't given in to panic, there would be more of them here today. If whoever attacked hadn't attacked, there would be hundreds, thousands of people still alive. If whatever percieved slight that caused whoever it was to attack hadn't occurred, then those people would all be alive. There were other options. Just not for me." Then at Sofia, he just raises an eyebrow and answers Sawyer's amused question. "Yes. That is definitely against regulation and I have no idea what she's doing and why she is doing it here." He raises his voice now and speaks in that clear tone of disapproval, "Crewman, you need to /not/ bring whatever escapades you are on through the Marine offices."

"…" Crap. They noticed. "Eh- um." Think fast Sofia. Her face is red as a beet. "I'm… on the hunt!" Yeah, that's it! Act like you belong, "Fooor… crime. For you seeeeeeeee," It's apparent Sofia's heritage involves a lot of art. She's not a bad actress, "I'm… TOWEL MAN, DEFENDER OF TRUTH AND JUSTICE!" Strike a pose. Because hell, sneaking just went out the window. Oh ho ho ho. She looks around. "Uh. There's no crime here right?" She pushes her fingertips together.

"What the HELL is going on here Sergeant?" Comes a rather stern voice from the hatch to the Marine Offices. Apparently, Archer has caught the last few exchanges, and, he is not pleased. He stabs a finger at 'towel man' and declares, "You. Sit your ass down." He then turns to King and points in his direction, "You. Explain yourself." For the moment, Sawyer is either ignored, or, not noticed.

At the bark from Marine XO, even Sawyer straightens from her casual lean. Her credentials are clearly hanging around her neck, which of course marks her as QUODEL. Being ignored? Not a big issue right now, but she does withdraw a step or two to a respectful distance like she's about to witness Dad ripping into his two children for tomfoolery during Chapel.

King blinks. Well, the backup he so clearly needed is not really…backing him up. But officers are easy to deal with. You just speak when spoken to, as he has been and answer questions very directly. He points to Sawyer, "Reporter, wants to know about Picon Anchorage." Then he points to Sofia, "Crewman Wolfe acting insane. Probably drinking coffee again, makes her nuts apparently."

… erk. When you're in trouble, there's that tremendous knot at the bottom of one's stomach. Apparently she can't act her way out of this one. She looks about ready to die and crawl under a rock somewhere. There's shame all over her face. The ONE day she forgets… Twitch. Twitchtwitch. Sigh. Shame. She really does look guilty. She does as told though. Guilt fades though. She /glares/ murderously at King though, on his comment. Fortunately, she can't shoot laser eye beams or there'd be a smoldering crater on the floor. For now, she says nothing. But oooh, the annoyance on her face is clear. "… permission to speak?" Is half mumbled.

"Denied crewman." Archer says sharply to Sofia, before he turns his attention to King, "And, WHY is she in my office?" He spares the barest of glances at Sawyer, before he turns back to Sofia and adds, "Do you know who is allowed to be naked in this room? Myself, and a group of chums we know as The Gods. That. Is. It. Are you one of the Gods in disguise?"

Sawyer flicks her pad of paper shut, tucking it into the back pocket of her trousers with the pencil threaded through the spiral. Of course, the Captain could be asking her some of these questions directly, but she doesn't seem concerned that he's not, however. She could just high tail it out of here, but hey. There's a floor show.

King shakes his head, clearly exasperated for being blamed for this. "If I knew that, sir, I probably would have quite a few more of the universe's mysteries figured out." The closing of Sawyer's pad doesn't escape his notice and, in fact, he looks like he might be relieved by it.

Sigh. Poor Sofia looks like she's torn between glaring at King, a guilty face and debating the odds of outsprinting the XO. She nods meekly at being denied. Then a blink at his question. She shakes her head. No, sir! Fidget. Alas, neither has she perfected the power to just melt into the floor. Would be handy though. Still. Curling up and dying would be quiiiiiiite lovely about now. The embarrassment is practically written on her.

"I thought not, crewman." Archer replies, "Who is your supervisor?" he asks, before turning and glowering at King for a moment. The disappearance of Sawyer's notepad, and her QUODEL credentials are noted and he demands, "Are you military?" knowing full well what her answer must be.

Sawyer fixes a smile on her face that doesn't quite reach her eyes. "Not in the slightest. So if you're done ignoring me like the giant white elephant in the room, I'm…gonna go." She says, hitching a thumb over her shoulder to indicate the hatch. Her gaze shifts to King, "Thank you again, Sergeant. When all this blows over, I'll owe you a drink."

King nods and gets to his feet. "Yes, I will show you out." The clothing he's wearing makes it pretty obvious he wasn't officially on duty here anyway, just trying to catch up on some paperwork. Like a good host, he steps out from behind his desk and places his hand on the small of her back to start to show her out in an expedient, but polite manner. "And you know, Miss Averies that was a pretty nice way of asking me out. I would be glad to have a drink with you."

Oh man. Blinking quickly, Sofia mumbles. It's hard not to cry really. But it's neatly stifled. That's how they roll in the military right? "Chief Engineer Dominic Gabrieli, sir," She keeps her voice even. Even if the urge to just /die/ is still there. She just looks over cautiously to Sawyer then back to Archer.

"Take your time, Sergeant, give her a kiss before you let her go. Go on now." Archer says, his attention completely taken from Sofia as King starts to escort Sawyer out. "I hope when the Cylons come calling you are so polite. Nobody likes a poor host." He misses Sofia's admission of who her superior is, he's so taken with King's actions.

Sawyer quirks her head slightly at Archer's words, but dutifully turns at King's hand on her back. As she's ushered a few steps towards the door, she mutters, "And that was a pretty nice way of doing damage control, Sergeant King." Of course, with his hand on her back, she's subtly shifting the pad of paper out of her pocket to the front. Never can be too safe, should people try to get rid of the evidence. "Good evening, Captain. Crewman." She calls back over her shoulder, lest she not be congenial.

Sofia's eyebrows lift. She just stays quiet. Wonder if she could outsprint… hhhm… Probably not a good idea. She stays quiet though. Still looks about to just die. At least then the XO'd be inconvenienced to scrape her up or something.

King nods and mutters back, "I've been doing this for quite a while, you know." He adds a mischievous wink in there when she's reached the door and he says, "And don't worry, I'm not gonna try to steal your precious notebook. I know that thing is your lifeline." He then waves her out of the bulkhead, eyebrows raised as if to say 'Hurry the frak up'.

"Are you back with us yet Sergeant?" Archer asks, looking down at his wristwatch, as if timing the soldier and his goodbyes. He turns his head a bit and gives Sofia a bit of a glare, to remind her she has not been forgotten about by the Captain. Sawyer's good evening is given a mock wave and smile.

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