PHD #060: From the Den
From the Den
Summary: The final recon of Leonis returns with more questions than answers.
Date: 27 Apr 2041 AE
Related Logs: Lion's Hide
Cidra Quinn Marko 
Ready Room - Deck 9 - Battlestar Cerberus
Post-Holocaust Day: #60

Both Raptors returned from the second jaunt to Leonis unscathed. If barely. The huge Cylon presence in the area didn't allow them to linger for any length of time, but they certainly got some interesting pictures. Cidra's taking the time to shower and get her decon done but she's done little more than that before changing back into her duty greens and made her way to the ready room for a proper post-mission shake-down. She doesn't bother to wait standing for her fellow pilot and ECOs. She sinks into one of the chairs, lighting up a cigarette, inhaling long and smoking deep.

Marko, himself having similarly deconned, showered and changed into duty greens, arrives in the ready room with his logbook and note pad tucked under his arm. "Hey there, CAG." He calls to Cidra and gives a little wave. "We get the pictures back yet?" he asks curiously. "Hope so," he continues. "There was enough rays down there to deep fry a turkey, much less our cameras."

Quinn has done the same. Decon, the anti-rad, the whole spiel. A shower… a change, and now she's here, just for the quiet debrief. She isn't the engineer or any of the scientists, so she's not much to do other than listen, but her eyes are tired and worried as she walks into the room, nodding quietly to both of them. "Sir. Flasher."

"Flasher. Jugs. Sit, please." Cidra herself groans as she has to stand again, to queue up the camera footage. It's still rough. Not fully processed. But there were parts of this she wanted to fix in her mind before getting any sort of report to command. And she's still not fully up on what Quinn and her backseater saw over the city while she and Marko were buzzing the air base. Buttons are pushed, pushed, pushed. And upon the LCD screen is grainy guncam glory. From her bird first off. "Flasher and I managed to get in reasonably close over Air Base Anadyomene. Bootstrap and Bunny read it right, looks like. Place is deserted. Not even Cylon presence, which I have to admit I find somewhat surprising. I would have thought they would be co-opting out military infrastructure down there."

"Well, there was a heck of a lot of damage to the base's infrastructure, sir." Marko points out, gesturing to the screen. "It'd take them quite a bit of time to clear the wreckage, fix the fuel lines, and do the thousand and one other things they'd have to do to get the place going again. Even the Cylons wouldn't be able to roll out pierced-steel planking and set up shop immediately.

Quinn listens to that quietly, nodding slightly…"But it'd take us that time too… even if we could slip in unnoticed." SHe frowns at the thought, looking back down at her notes, the brief run down from her company in the craft. "…The city… well, we couldn't entirely tell. We got a lot of heat signatures. It could be survivors. Lots of them, if so…" She admits, handing over the report and run down…

"Perhaps," Cidra nods a little along with Marko, retaking her seat. And getting smoking on her cigarette again. "The place took several neutron bombs directly. The Cylons decimated it. Perhaps there is nothing left there for them to use. If nothing else, it is perhaps for the good to know they are avoiding the area. Not that I like the idea of putting anyone down near there with all that radiation." But Quinn's words get her attention off of that. "Survivors?" That has her interest. She takes the report. "By all gods…perhaps…" It's murmured under her breath. She can scarcely bring herself to hope there are still people alive down there.

"Survivors?" Marko asks, turning a skeptical eye towards Quinn. "After all of that?" he asks, eyebrows rising. "That would have to be one hell of a bunker, Captain." he says, not totally dismissive of the notion, nor entranced by it. "Can you show us the pictures? What kind of imagery do you have?"

Quinn pulls out another sheet of paper, handing it to Cidra first but keeping it face enough that Marko can see…"We picked up some colonial signatures and here are the IR scans… nothing definitive, but… yeah. A distinct possibility…" Maggie swallows back, her face pinched with quiet worry over it all.

Cidra skims over the information she's got on the city of Kythera. Frowning quite a lot. "A Fleet distress signal…ECM puts it as coming from a location called Molgen Labs. That's a private company. Why in Hades' name are they broadcasting a military signal…?"

"Fleet distress signal?" Marko asks, chewing on his bottom lip a little. "Someone who crashed maybe?" he muses. "I mean, that's assuming that everyone else got the same 'red glow of death' treatment we did. Which isn't exactly stretching credibility. There's the Air Station near by…." he muses.

Quinn looks it back over again, shrugging again…"Or they were doing some sort of military contract we were all unaware of? Or the cylons have gotten ahold of it from somewhere else and are using it as a trap… " Maggie throws out casually..

"Perhaps…" Cidra draws off the word through a haze of blown-out cigarette, smoke, turning her neck toward Quinn. "I am told Command found some very strange chatter about Leonis in some of the items taken off Parnassus. Nothing conclusive but…a secret miliary contract would fit with it. We shall have to get the readings to analyzed properly by our technical personnel. Perhaps they can pinpoint more firmly whether those signatures were surely human, or some sort of Cylon trap."

"Do wha…." Marko begins, nearly standing up before remembering himself and calming down. "Sorry…eh…Excuse me, Major? Are there ties to Parnassus and Leonis?" he asks, eyes going wide.

Quinn tilts her head as she hears the comment about Leonis…"Really?…I… i'd be very curious how these could be connected, but I suspect command will be keeping that nice and secret." She studies Cidra, waiting to see if Marko or her curiousity might be satisfied at all.

"Command believes there may be," Cidra replies. "I do not know the details, myself. It all seems very…patchwork. Parnassus was a place of more questions than answers…" And one that obviously still disturbs her, far behind them that it is. Another long drag on her cigarette. "As I understand it, certain things said by the survivors taken off the station suggested at least one of its projects had ties to Leonis. Beyond that…more questions than answers."

"Permission to speak freely, sir?" Marko asks, holding up his hand a little like a schoolboy.

Quinn looks to Marko, not cutting in, waiting to see what is said between the pair.

"Granted, of course, Scaurus," Cidra replies. Watching the ensign past her cigarette haze. He's got her attention.

"With all due respect to 'command'." Marko says, making nerdy little quotations with his fingers as he says the word. "Aren't we past all of this classified crap, sir?" he grumbles. "Whatever secrets the government might've been trying to hide, for whatever reason, the people that were trying to hide them are all more or less reduced to component atoms, sir. If there was something wonky going on on Parnassus, and I think we're all pretty much singing from the same song book on that one, then we have a more than demonstrable need to frakking know." he says firmly. "Because whatever it was, the odds are good, the Cylons know about it too, and seeing as how we're the only ones left that we know about to fight the bastards, it might be a good idea for us all to be on the same page." he concludes, blushing a little at the end for his vehemence. "Just…my opinion on the matter, sir." he offers.

Quinn gives a small smirk of agreement, nodding slowly…"He's got a point, sir. a damn good one."

Cidra listens to all that in silence. Just regarding Marko throughout it. As ever, it's hard to put a bead on precisely what the woman is thinking. Mostly, she just looks pensive. And rather tired. "You've a right to your opinion, Flasher. And I'll not call you wrong. Truth? If I knew what in Hades the connection was between Parnassus and Leonis I would tell you. I do not. And I do not believe the Admiral does either. What was going at that station was above his pay grade. He has said as much to me and I believe it. What was taken from that station were clues. Vague hints. Ramblings of a mad-man Tactical managed to bring into Marine custody. Colonial Intelligence was full of spooks that kept secrets from all others in military command. Me? I flew Raptors and I was happy not to know. But all things are different now, and gods know how many secrets died with those spooks. The great secret, Flasher, is there is no secret. I do not know what that station held that was so important, or what connection it might have to Leonis. But Command believes it may be important to find such answers. And so do I."

Duly chastened by Cidra's reply, Marko gives a long, deflated sigh. "Yes, sir." he replies, nodding. "I believe you. You wouldn't hold something that big back from us." he says respectfully. "Which, sadly, puts us even farther down the thorny rows of Pluto's naughty bits." he grumbles. "Means the only way to know for sure's to go boots on the ground, sir." he says simply. "And that'll be the worst cock-up since Pandora toyed with the gift wrap on her box."

Quinn nods slowly…"Was there any hint at all? I'm not certain solving a mystery is worth the risk. Survivors…. maybe. -Maybe-. But it's going to be a hell of a challenge getting in and getting out to do anything other than take photos, and we even had that down to the wire…" Maggie murmurs quietly, worry lining her husky voice.

"Survivors…" Cidra draws out the word slow. She still sounds a touch of disbelief. "There's risk to everything now, Captain. I know this much. We cannot stay here forever. And we also cannot dash ourselves against the rocks of the colonies in some meaningless run at the Cylons. No. I'll not be a party to that. I'll not be Ares' gods-damned vulture…" It's muttered vehemently, but under her breath, as if she did not really mean to say it aloud. She clears her throat. "The hints I hope Intelligence can put together. They shall make what use of this information they can, along with what they have. I know not if our path will take us back to Leonis, knowing the danger we face. But this I believe. If we go there, it shall be for a purpose. It shall be with some eye on finding a path to our survival. We may be all that is left. We shall protect this ship. And we shall find a way to survive on. We did not live beyond the attacks for nothing. That I must believe."

"Right there with you, sir." Marko says, nodding a little. "We're out manned, out gunned and out …every gods damn thing else here." he sighs. "I hate to sound defeatist, especially after we slagged that Basestar the other day, but you're right, sir. We've got to do something…but what?"

Quinn nods slightly, part of her wanting to say something but Cidra's pretty much summed it up. She sighs, pushing one hand quietly through her hair before she simply nods again…"that…. that pretty much covers it. Not a comforting thought…. Was there anything else, sir?"

"I believe we shall find our path, Marko," Cidra says to the ensign. Using his first name without really seeming to think of it. Not that she has a guess as to what that path might be. But she does sound confident. A shake of her head. "No, Captain. You are both dismissed, and thanked for your able work in very dangerous circumstances. We shall see what Command makes of this."

"It was a pleasure flying with you, sir." Marko replies, nodding politely to Cidra before rising from his seat. "Anybody feel brave enough to tackle MidRats?" he asks, chuckling softly.

Quinn stands smoothly, giving a quick nod to Cidra, "Thank you, sir." She gives Flasher a half smile…"Be well, Flasher…" And with that, she heads towards the hatch…

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