PHD #363: Fifteen Minutes
Fifteen minutes
Summary: Frederick has an appointment with Cora.
Date: 24 Feb 2042 AE
Related Logs: Elpis plottage
Cora Frederick 
TACCO's Office - Deck 10
It's a room. With a TACCO in it.
Post-Holocaust Day: #363

As the door is knocked upon and answered, a tall gentleman- quite well kept for a refugee stands on the other side. A polite smile- well practiced- touches his face, as the man voices, "Captain Nikephoros? My name is Frederick Adrastos, I believe I am schedulued for eleven forty-five."

Cora sits behind her desk, a cigarette dangling forgotten between two fingers. In addition to several piles of folders and reports, there is a laptop centered on the desk before her and she appears to be scrolling through something on its screen when Frederick enters. She looks up after a moment and nods, replying, "Mr. Adrastos, yes. You are." She glances up at the clock on the wall and then gestures to the chair in front of her desk, "Please, have a seat. I don't believe I received any details on the nature of your request. Could you fill me in?"

"Certainly," Frederick returns, accepting the offered chair after a short dip of the head and shoulders (without breaking eye contact) are given to the seated officer. "I will be as brief as I can. I propose an alteration to the present system of janitorial services aboard the Elpis, as well as a modification in the volunteer structure of that department, removing the military supervision, and replacing it with a civilian structure, subject to military inspection." the words are clear and precise, his posture relaxed, but not sloppy. "It is my firm belief that a measure of the unrest plaguing the people of that vessel would be alleviated if civilians could claim a sense of pride and reward in their work, and I see the janitorial services as a good place to start. I suggest that this would free more Support personnel for service aboard the military vessels of the Fleet, as well as giving a sense of reward to many among the civilian population. A sense of reward, I would add, that need not be acquired on the black market."

Cora taps her cigarette into the ash tray and then stubs it out, turning her attention from her computer to the man in front of her. She listens in silence as he says his piece, and then nods thoughtfully. "You don't believe the civilians would view this as a form of conscription? There have been complaints in the past about the notion of being 'put to work' against their will, and such a thing would require at least a moderate number of volunteers to be sustainable."

"Especially if rewarded with a system of additional vouchers- nothing so generous as to threaten supply levels of course- but such luxuries as an additional drink, or a certain number being necessary to request better quarters for any family members. As things stand now, there is the perception- however unfair-" he adds, dryly, "That courting favor with several of the more.. connected and less scrupulous individuals aboard the Elpis is the only resort for those who are in need. A perception I am sure the Fleet wishes to correct." A drawn breath, "As for fears of conscription, I am able to provide a list of willing volunteers should the Captain be well disposed towards this proposal. Far from military conscription, Captain Nikephoros: most civilians want very much to work. It is a prime factor in that sense of self-respect I'd mentioned wishing to bolster."

"One would certainly think so, Mr. Adrastos," Cora replies with a nod, "However I am told that when a volunteer civilian work force was arranged some months ago, there was something of an outcry among the civilian population, who believed they would be forced to work for the military and that it was merely the first step toward the institution of a draft." One shoulder lifts faintly, as if to say she does not understand it either, but she goes on, "If you are confident that there are enough willing volunteers to make this viable, then that may be another matter. Tell me, how involved in the planning of such a thing are you willing to be? Is it your hope to present the idea and then have Support figure out the numbers and the structure and implementation? Or have you more comprehensive proposals in mind?"

Frederick's lip curls in a small smile at the query. "I was optimistic enough to put together a formal proposal for the structure of shifts, storage and inventory of cleaning supplies, and a tentative system of rewards, pending military approval, of course. Assuming that the Support division is willing to release the necessary tools and supplies which are already posted aboard the Elpis, I foresee no difficulties. I would consider it the most telling move against those fears of conscription if the day to day janitorial workers never interacted with military direction in their duties. I realize this is a request for a relaxing of military protocol that is in place for good reason, Captain. However, it is my belief that it is through small compromises that the Fleet does not *need* to offer, that the discontent which feeds .. subversive voices will be reduced. Let the civilians keep their own house clean, Captain."

"I don't suppose you were optimistic enough to bring a copy of that proposal with you?" Cora inquires of Frederick with a faint, answering curve of a smile. "I can make no guarantees, you understand," she says, "Anything that involves multiple departments and concerns operations on another ship of the fleet needs to go through Command. But I can review your plan and put it before Command to consider, assuming everything in it seems to be in order. Tell me," she goes on after a second, "What is your interest in the matter? You'll forgive me the presumption but I very much doubt you're interested in janitorial work yourself."

"An apt observation," Frederick allows to the last with a deeper smile warming his composure. Reaching into a pocket, he draws out a small data disk, handing it across the table to Cora. "I was.. quite optimistic," he notes as the data is handed over. "My interest, quite plainly put, is that I do not enjoy being without means. I come from a long and quite successful line of financiers, Captain. The new currency is favors. I do not enjoy the direction that the current would-be brokers of power aboard the Elpis are going, which leaves me the two choices of doing nothing, or seeking to weight the balance in a more mutually beneficial manner. And I have never been good at suffering idleness, Captain," he notes with a smile.

"You were indeed," Cora replies as she reaches out to take the data disk, though she does not put it into her computer, just setting it aside for the time being instead. She listens as Frederick explains, lips curving slightly at his explanation. "So, basically, Mr Adrastos, you want me to recommend this arrangement to command so that you can take over the… grey markets that are currently in other hands, and make your own situation more comfortable. Why, exactly, should I help you do this?"

"I realize that having said this, you may appoint another to administrate the selection of workers, and the distribution of vouchers," Frederick begins, with an idle 'oh well' motion of one hand. "But, that is the gamble I take for being honest." A merry smile curls his lip at that, before answering her summary directly. "Not entirely. The markets you are describing currently do not exist. The alternative is the existing black market that is in hands directly hostile to the military hierarchy upon which we all rely." A dry grin briefly touches his countenance. "But otherwise, yes. That is not an inaccurate summary. As for why?" A breath drawn in and let out, "I won't waste your time or mine explaining how this proposed arrangement will be valuable to you. I will say only that I in particular am singularly well placed and sufficiency skilled to administrate such a structure. And the last thing I want is conflict between civilians and military."

Cora makes no comment on the likelihood of Frederick's honesty backfiring on him, just listening as he goes on in more detail. Her gaze is keen, and faintly appraising, attention definitely focused though her opinion would be tough to guess. "How is that?" she inquires at the last, a hand lifting to gesture as she clarifies, "That you are singularly well-placed and skilled, I mean. Do you have a great deal of experience mediating between civilian and military janitorial systems at the end of the worlds?" Her expression at the last is faintly wry, amusement briefly sparking in sharp blue eyes.

"I assure you, there is not a single more experienced mediator between Fleet and hypothetical civilian janitorial services than I, Captain," Frederick returns with an easy smile. "I presently act as a supervisor among the Elpis' supply distribution volunteers, with whom I have worked since coming aboard," Frederick begins with an easy smile curling his lip. "Your Stores Accountant- Miss Swigert, if I recall correctly- called my record keeping a 'model of efficiency'. She is so kind," he adds, with an easy chuckle light in his throat. "Professionally, I am thoroughly schooled in record keeping and management, and personally, I have a strong working relationship with the people who would be occupying these hypothetical roles."

"Is that so?" Cora seems even more amused at that response, but she settles back and listens to Frederick, a brow ticking upwards at the quoted recommendation. "A glowing reference," she says, "I will have to speak with her, I see. And how did you come by your allegedly brilliant management and accounting skills?" she asks, "Were you employed in the field prior to the attacks?"

Frederick repeats his earlier faint laughter at Cora's response. "I am a businessman, Captain. I count a Master's degree in Finance and a Bachelor's in Law from the University of Libran, and had worked for five years in the private sector. This was how I came to be on Tauron, you see," Frederick notes as an afterthought, before musing further. "I find it rather refreshing to deal in the simplicity of the Colonial Code of Military Justice after navigating the thrilling intricacies of Intercolonial taxes, to be honest," apart from a sardonic note coloring the word 'thrilling' his manner remains light.

Cora nods along with Frederick's credentials, and then smiles faintly at his dig about tax law. Then there is a faint stilling of her already-more-neutral-than-not expression, and a momentary pause after which she repeats, "Adrastos. Are you related to the family that ran the Adrastos Firm, by any chance?"

"I am indeed, Captain," Frederick assents with a dip of his head, and small flourish of one hand to go with the small smile on his face. "I like to think we still do run the Adrastos Firm, but that strains even my exceptional optimism."
GAME: Save complete.

"My family banked with the firm," Cora informs him with a dip of her head in return, but no flourish, "I would like to be able to say we still do, but…." She spreads her hands, no attempt at optimism in this regard. "How closely related were you?" she asks curiously, "I believe my brothers were familiar with several of the children."

Frederick's smile broadens at Cora's reply. "Nike. Of course," the gentleman comments at first, as realization dawns upon him in turn. "No doubt your brothers would be acquainted with Phillip Adrastos, my brother. Stepping into the firm's Caprican offices was his reward for being born first," he quips, dryly. "He interacted a great deal with a Deimos Nikephoros, do I correctly presume a relation?"

"Philip, yes, that sounds familiar," Cora nods before confirming, "My father and my oldest brother are both Deimos. They both dealt with business that would have involved your family's firm, I believe. I think my brother may have played squash with him, actually," she says, head tilting slightly as that little fact seems to pop into her head. "At which office did you work, then, Mr Adrastos?" she asks, "Tauron, I assume?"

"That certainly sounds like Phillip, yes," Frederick notes with a faint smile at the talk of playing squash. "I believe it was the Deimos who dealt with Ark Shipping," he muses. "Deimos the Younger, then," he concludes, small smile unslipped from his face. "Minos in particular, you are correct. As I oh-so-optimistically put it: Tauron has long been the colony with the greatest potential for improvement."

"Deimos III," Cora supplies with a smile that's just faintly sardonic, the numerals somehow clear in her tone, "He never liked Young Deimos, let alone 'Junior'. 'Trip' he put up with occasionally." She nods as he goes on, and seems to barely resist the urge to snerk at his description of Tauron. "Ever the optimist, I see. I hope that will serve you well here. Tell me, then, what do you make of the mood aboard the Elpis these days, since the attacks began?"

Frederick sniffs drily in easy humor at Cora's description of her eldest brother. A small touch of two forefingers to his brow at the words 'ever the optimist, I see'. "Shall I presume you already know and are wishing for a gauge of my answer, or are you genuinely curious?" he wonders with a briefly deeper smile. "As terrible a thing as this may be to say, the constant attacks have been good for law and order. Even the most malcontent of rabble rousers are hesitant to cause trouble when it might actually- Lords forbid- result in their getting hurt."

Cora doesn't answer his question, just smiling faintly and then listening to the answer. Whether she thinks his answer is terrible or not, she also doesn't really give away, finally just nodding. "And this is hardly the time to give the military any desire to leave them behind, particularly considering how their FTL is consistently causing us to jump more slowly than we otherwise would." Her lips curve faintly, darkly, and then she nods, "And how are you finding the Elpis personally, Mr Adrastos?"

"The Elpis is a vehicle, Captain Nikephoros," Frederick answers pointedly. "I find that it gets me where I am going." Allowing a faint smirk to tug at his expression, the gentleman goes on. "It is not pleasant, nor is it comfortable. It is simply.. a vehicle."

"Perhaps your standards for 'pleasant' and 'comfortable' were not adjusted as much during your time on Tauron as I might have expected," Cora replies to Frederick, tone dipping into dry for a moment. "I hope at least a few of the other civilians are a bit more grateful for its amenities, unluxurious as they might be."

"Touche, Captain," Frederick allows with a reserved chuckle. "However, at least on Tauron, I wasn't deprived of a family heirloom," he notes, bemusedly. "A straight razor that belonged to my grandfather was confiscated as a weapon, as soon as I was allowed aboard. I imagine a few of the other civilians have.. adjusted their standards of personal hygiene rather more than I am willing to."

Cora lifts a brow at Frederick's modified complaint, considering it for a moment. "I am sure the Marines know their business, Mr Adrastos," she replies, "A straight razor can be quite an effective weapon in the wrong hands. I notice you seem to be making do with the disposables in the meantime."

"I am disposing of a great many- and it does pain me to be wasteful in times such as these," Frederick returns lightly, before forgoing the issue. "At any rate. I seem to have exceeded the initial fifteen minutes I had been promised. Thank you for your patience, Captain."

Cora smiles faintly and nods, and then again, "Of course, Mr Adrastos. I will be in touch about your proposal. I think Command will find it interesting. Have a good day. I hope the Elpis grows on you."

Frederick rises from his chair, and repeats the earlier short bow of his head and shoulders. Again, he maintains eye contact, narrowed slightly though they are by the composed smile on his face. "As do I. Good day, Captain."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License