PHD #406: Illegal Seizures
Illegal Seizures
Summary: The Areion is taking what is not theirs. Vandenberg and Trask discuss who's missing and what's to be done about it.
Date: 08 Apr 2042 AE
Related Logs: Lethal Force (Corrath issues orders) & Knowledge for Knowledge (why Trask is so quick to suspect foul play over Sawyer's seeming disappearance); Arrested Development (Sawyer is made to disappear)
Referenced: Everything Will Be Fine (Corrath calls Trask in for questioning on 15 Oct 2041 AE)
Trask Vandenberg 
Naval Offices - Deck 10 - Battlestar Cerberus
Post-Holocaust Day: #406
This area is set-up much like any standard office building. Cubicles have been constructed using cheap waist-high walls, their contents left neutral for whoever needs to use them. Inside each cubicle is a desk with a laptop and chair. Simple overhead lights bring dull illumination to the room except over the back wall where each one of the colonies twelve flags hangs from its own pole. Fake, potted plants dot the room and seem to be standard issue along with the water cooler and coffee machines. Off the main room are a few private offices such as that of the JAG or CAG.
Condition Level: 3 - All Clear

With the Marines having their own set of offices, it's rare to catch the Marines down here in any capacity. Especially Marines dressed in combat blacks and kitted out for battle. The Marine Lieutenant opens the hatch and steps through into the office flanked by two other MPs who keep their scan up, looking at people's faces as they move. The officer stops at the CAG's door and gives a solid rap to it with her knuckles, the two Marines standing to each side of the Major's door and looking out into the offices.

Bordering on brooding, Bootstrap stops a passing yeoman. "Hey, tell Pony I'm hot to trot and need the most recent passenger manifests. Right now." That PO1 seems a little disconcerted by the uncharacteristic lack of impudent aplomb and simply nods once, crisply, and departs with an, "Aye, sir." Gopher set loose, the SL's gaze alights upon the Marines, in part because they obviously don't belong here, and in part because his cube is right outside the CAG's office. Moseying that way, he notes, "Major Hahn's not in at the moment. Depending what you need her for, perhaps I can be of assistance." Then, by way of introduction, the man in the duty greens offers, "Kal Trask. VAQ-One-Four-One."

The Marine officer turrets her head to look up to Trask's face and glances to his greens. "Trask? Captain Trask? I've heard your name a few times." Her Canceran accent is obvious, but it's clipped and all business. "Lieutenant Natalie Vandenberg, Marine S-Three, sir. This involves you, Captain, as I've been tasked to hunt down the CAG and the squadron commanders. You're absolutely the man I needed to see if not the Major." The two Marines with her size the man up and down before looking back off to the cubicles.

"Sir, we're dealing with hostile raiding parties boarding the Cerberus at least twice in the last thirty-six hours and illegally detaining members of this crew on the Areion. The persons doing the detaining are Marines operating outside their jurisdiction from the Areion proper." She keeps her voice low enough so as not to be overheard by the rest of the people in the office. Whispers are bad. Having this overheard might be just a smidge worse.

"I'm sure that's not all you've heard," is mildly smirked, as he is fully aware that his name is generally linked to a few choice descriptors. Not that he appears to care about that. When he gets the S3's name, he nods. "Your name, by the by, s'not unknown to me." Not inclined to carry on the rest of this particular conversation so publicly, the best he can muster for privacy is, "Please… step into my not-quite office." That being the cube. Once inside, Trask flips a switch of a small white-noise generator that he built ages ago for shits and giggles. Doesn't do a damn thing against surveillance bugs and the like, but it cuts down on the sounds of the offices and generally dissolves into background noise what transpires in his cubicle. "Who's missing?" Straight to the point. A set of keys is retrieved from his belt, their tether drawn out long enough that the man can unlock his desk.

"That's correct, sir. Most of what I have heard has come from Lieutenant Doe. He speaks highly of you, Captain." The Marine is quick with the reply. Clipped business still seems to be exactly what she's putting out and putting down. She steps into the cube with Trask, though, keeping her head up and looking around the office as best she can over the walls. "As of right now? Crewman Circe Lagana, a Corpsman, and the ship's Master at Arms, Gunnery Sergeant Constin. We believe that Cerberus command is unaware of the orders as they are coming from Commanders Laughlin and Kepner - who do not have the authority to order these arrests. If this is true, then they are not informing our Command on purpose. In that case, we have to assume that they may intend to come for some of our senior officers. Lieutenant O'Hare, Marine S-Two, has given orders for the use of lethal force to prevent any more Cerberus crew from being taken without explicit orders from our own ship's command. That order from S-Two may change after consultation with Pewter and Marine Command, but until then the order remains in effect."

Ah, Bunny. That does bring a faint but nonetheless fond cast to the Taurian's features. It doesn't linger, though, instead fading into a subtly self-deprecating, "Lieutenant Doe speaks highly of most people." Pulling open the top desk drawer, a mostly smoked pack of hand-rolled cigarettes full of Allegheny tobacco is retrieved. After popping one in his mouth, that nicotine-y goodness if offered to the others with nothing more than a gesture.

Upon hearing Constin's name, though, the SL blinks, for an abducted MaA is no trifling thing. "Huh." Not quite pensive but not quite surprised, either. "Well, it certainly keeps in line with the whole self-aggrandizing menace with a God complex shtick ol' Rudy's been workin'." Unflinching facetiousness may or may not be one of the things Vandenberg's heard about Trask. "I'm kinda disappointed that I'm still here, but also not entirely surprised. Kepner's got this whole butt-hurt hate on for me, but he also can't admit that I piss him off as much as I do because it would be unseemly that someone so great and mighty and awesome could ever be at all affected by some smartass ghetto trash peon that is so beneath him." Cue the wry yet somehow pleased smirk. "As a matter of principle."

Lighting up, aforementioned smartass ghetto trash peon puffs a few times to get a good cherry and notes, "Laughlin is useless. This was supposed to be a retirement cruise for him. He sure as frak never wanted to lead the Fleet. Most of the time, he passed the buck to Pewter. 'course, ol' Rudy simply can't permit that." A savoring drag is enjoyed, held, and then exhaled. "As for more senior officers… dunno. I don't think that jagoff is yet so off his rocker and drunk on the power he covets to do that." Beat. "Yet. Like, I'm sure Colonel Catfish is safe… for now. That might well change within the next 48-hours." Another beat. "Probably will. And as for any and everyone else… well, they're fair game. I don't doubt that. I'll be sure to inform Major Hahn, though. I can personally assure you that I will personally drag down to Marine country any Harrier who doesn't tow the line and will just as personally, and none-too-gently, toss 'em in the brig."

"That he does, Captain. I wouldn't default to his being incorrect, though, sir." Vandenberg is very straightforward with the responses, her eyes finally dropping from the peek over the walls and down back to Trask as he describes Kepner. "The arrests are targeted at individuals Fleet Command believes could be Cylons. They seem to be disregarding our own suspect lists. Whether or not you are on a list, I couldn't say. But I understand the sentiment. Seems we both have a penchant for pissing the wrong- or right- people off." The Marine flickers a quick smile but it doesn't flash for longer than a second. There's no reach for the cigarette, either. "I actually need to speak with the Major personally. These two Marines are for her and I need to know personally if she declines their escort. I've also been asked to request her help in a related matter to provide us early warning."

If the S-Three doesn't want a smoke, Kal won't complain. Just means more for him. Quite matter of factly, but still with that blithe irreverence so many find infuriating, he notes, "In my case, it's a numbers game." About having a knack for pissing of the wrong or right people. A glance then to the would-be escorts, a slight upward chin-tilt of acknowledgment. "'sup?" Then, back to Vandenberg. "If I'm /not/ on Kepner's version that list, I'm losing my touch. As for our version," that 'our' meaning Cerberus, because solidarity, yo, "Well, it wouldn't be the first time the S-2 dragged me down to waste both his and my time. Do remind him, though, that if he /is/ gonna haul me off for another chat that I expect him to honor my request to do it when I'm not /on/ duty." The pack of cigarettes is returned to the drawer. "Don't get me wrong. I know you guys have a job to do, just like the rest of us. But, seriously?" The look is equal parts sass, incredulousness, and disapproval, "If the S-2 can't frakkin' make sense of shift schedules, that's a problem. And if he can't show enough professional courtesy to not interfere with operations, that's also a problem."

To the rest, Trask really can only say, "Not sure about this 'early warning' of which you speak, but I don't doubt Toast will let me know what I need to know." Which then just leaves a question. "Any idea if the abductions have been limited to military personnel? Someone else on Commander Kepner's shit list appears to be missing. At first, I thought someone else might've been behind it since it seems to have happened aboard the Elpis, but I'm starting to think this whole thing stinks of spook."

Vandenberg listens with nary a blanch or blink. "I don't handle most of his workload. He deals with intel and fleet security. I deal in warfighting. Two different elements to the same organization. Hell if I know how to draw a proper line on it, sir. This is my first posting to a ship." She doesn't say it, but 'Thank the Gods' is implied. "Aye, Captain. She should be able to let you know how best to employ it. I just have specific requests that may end up going higher than her. As for the abductions…" She tilts her head a bit and focuses every bit of attention on him. "If someone is missing, you have an obligation to report it, sir. Even civilians. Especially on the Elpis because we need to know that." She waits for a name.

"Well, I know you're not some carrier pigeon or messenger girl, El-Tee, but if you happen to see O'Hare, I'd appreciate it if you passed along the reminder." And, yes, as for the abductions, "Sawyer Averies," he relays through the remnants of smoke just exhaled via his nostrils. "She was due back by now and it's not like her to just disappear without a word. At the very least, she'd've left a note." Why that is, he does not say, nor is there really anything about his manner that offers insights. It merely is very clear that he means what he says, spoken like someone who most certainly is not talking outta his ass. "Tell you what, though, since I know you've got a full plate: if Lance Corporal Daniel Kincaid has some kinda proof that she's okay, I'm willing to hold-off on reporting her missing." The unspoken addendum being that he most certainly will file a report if his own findings suggest otherwise.

"I'll pass it along, sir." Vandenberg seems firm about it. She listens along, though, everything probably being jotted down mentally. Though when Kincaid's name is mentioned her face darkens. "I'm not sure he would be able to do anything of the kind, sir." It's biting. "In fact, he may be able to confirm the opposite." She takes a short breath. "Okay, Captain, here's what I'm going to do. I'll take the report of her being missing and kick it up to O'Hare. If she turns up, let us know right away and we'll scrub the report. As it stands, we're still compiling a list of everyone who should be aboard and the whereabouts of anyone who is not. Sound good, sir?" She looks pensive as if she needs to report this. Which she probably does.

A somewhat puzzled furrow of the brow is Bootstrap's response to the Marine's response. Clearly, this is not something he was expecting to hear, nor is it something that rests well with him. "Well," he considers, filling the pause with another drag from his cigarette, "confirmation is confirmation." Not that he likes this particular notion. Ash is tapped into the tray on his desk. "If there's anyone else Averies would've spoken to about masking her sig on the proverbial DRADIS, it'd be your Lance Coolie." Another point of which the SL seems clearly convinced. "But, yeah. Kick it up as high as you can, as soon as you can. If I hear from her, I'll be sure to report. Unlike the corpsman and Constin, an illegal arrest of a civilian is a whole other mess, and, to be quite frank — with the shit that's being pulled — I wouldn't put it past those frakkers to try pinning this Gemenon leak on someone they really want to shut up. Killing an investigative journalist wanting to do an exposé on the proverbial Man Behind the Curtain is one sure way to silence the Press."

"I will have O'Hare ask Kincaid about Miss Averies. If I find out anything I will let you know, sir." Vandenberg still seems rather displeased with the topic of Kincaid at the moment, almost like it leaves a bad taste in her mouth. "An arrest on Elpis falls outside our jurisdiction and may actually be appropriate. But an illegal detainment is still just that. Interrogation without cause is still illegal, even in the military." And there's a word: 'interrogation'. It probably wasn't slipped on purpose. "But that sounds like solid motive and we know Kepner is interested in a few different things. Alright, sir. I need to report this in. Anything else you need from me before I get back?"

Alas, needed to fade due to RL foo, but there really wasn't anything else to add.

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