PHD #001: In Hope of Answers
In Hope of Answers
Summary: Quinn proposes a recon mission to Virgon in the wake of the attacks. Planning ensues.
Date: 27 Feb 2041 AE
Related Logs: Into the Jaws of Death, Green Light, and other Warday logs
Quinn Tillman Oberlin Cidra 

[ Map Room ]------[ Deck 7 - Battlestar Cerberus ]
The one object that dominates this room is the one it is named for: the giant plotting table in the center of the room. Bottom-lit like the plot in CIC, this one is twenty feet across and about the same distance wide. The maps, which are rolled and kept in a locker at the side of the room, provide much more detail than most of the charts in CIC and are especially useful in planning tactical operations. Unscaled models of ships are available to be situated on the surface of the table and risers on each side of the room allow for a small audience to watch or be briefed. A single large LCD screen is built into the wall at the far end to display reconnaissance or other supplemental material.

-=[ Condition Level: 2 - Danger Close ]=-------—-

On the risers furthest back in the room, almost in the shadows, sit the pair of Captains, both of them looking rather worst for wear. Tillman's in his grays from last night, probably not slept at all from the look in his face, and Maggie in her flight suit carrying at least two loads of luggage under her eyes. Her helmet has been abandoned on the map table. She's got her arm around his shoulders and he has his arm around her waist. She's just finished kissing his hair in a way that is more motherly or elder sister than anything. Her red pigtails have lost their shine of last night and are now just a messy of frizzy curls. They're speaking quietly, her voice slightly crackling, half Caprican, half Aerilon lilting, especially as he asks that last question. Oberlin has just recently come in, standing in his dress grays which are looking less than pressed and fine now, on the other side of the map table.

"Party's at Virgon." Oberlin mutters in a monotone, under his breath as he starts jimmying the map locker open under 'V' in Colonial Space and proceeds to rummage through until he finds a rolled-up chart displaying the Cerberus' next party destination. "We're late. And don't worry about /me/, Captain. I have a knack for being in the right place at the right time."

Tillman doesn't respond right away to the whispered remarks from Quinn. He just nods and rubs at his face with his free hand. After a long moment, "Yeah. Guess it wouldn't matter, then. For anyone." The TACCO's eyes turn back towards Oberlin, then, and his voice lifts. "So I hear. Anything else coming in on communications or is everything down?"

Cidra is still in her flight suit as well and likely has not slept a wink since the previous night. Though she's a least managed to splash some water on her face. Her eyes sweep the room, as if looking for someone in particular. And land on Tillman and Quinn. She clears her throat softly, but it's to alert all and sundry to her presence more than anything else. "Captains. Lieutenant." There's a too-level quality to her tone. And her manner in general. She is keeping a very tight hold on herself. One step at a time.

"Well..if the frakking CAG would let us out there the Raptors could actually do our JOBS and get some information for you all." Yes, Maggie is more than a bit frustrated, even if her timing on that mutter is probably going to be very, very poor. The universe has a horrid sense of humor like that. She remains close to Tillman, just in time for her to see the CAG walk in. Frak. Did she hear what Maggie said? Her eyes travel quietly to the CAG and she says. "Sir." Cold. Ice cold.

"It was like that blonde from QUODEL I was talking to. Uncomfortable silence." Oberlin says, with a rough, hoarse laugh. "That's all the channels have to offer, Captain." There's no humor in the laugh, just a brief flickering of his lips, as he tucks the map under his arm and leans into the locker door, clicking it shut. "Major." He says, briefly but amicably to Cidra. This tone, he strolls back towards the plotter table and starts unrolling the chart. "A big frakload of nothing. Any word from Engineering on when this frakking FTL fixed?"

Tillman is about to say something to Quinn when the CAG enters. There's a glance to OBerlin with his not-quite joke. He looks like hell and has a nice 5 o'clock shadow going, but looks like he's too spent to be angry about anything. Or concerned. They got bigger problems. The TACCO rises from the bench slowly and stands a bit at ease, hands folding behind his back. "Major on deck." A pause. "Sir," he greets. He'll wait on responding to Oberlin for the moment.

Cidra meets Quinn's gaze. Her eyes are not cold, but her gaze is level. And very tired. "Captain Quinn." She leaves it at that for the moment, the main of her attention is directed toward Tillman and Oberlin. "I was here to see if I could get an update on the status of the Cerberus herself."

As Clive reminds her that yes, there are still regulations to be followed no matter how frustrated she might be, Margaret brings herself up to her feet, going briefly to attention to acknowledge the fact that, yes, there is a major on deck. Quinn bites her tongue, physically, to keep herself from saying anything else, even as the anger in her gaze is growing more intense.

Oberlin meanwhile continues to do what he's doing, laying out the map of the space surrounding Virgon, grabbing various ship markers and placing them haphazardly. In the midst of doing this, he shakes his head. "Conjecture." He says. One word, but one laced with as much frustration as he can possibly convey. "Need something to represent the opposing force."

"Actually, sir, I was hoping to speak to you on that subject, myself. I've got people currently compiling damage reports from all over the ship. I have an Ensign speaking with Engineering, Support, and Medical - whom I have not heard back from yet. I spoke with Weps last night. He reports a few losses to personnel and guns, but the guns can be repaired. Barely a dent in the munitions stockpile, too. I haven't been able to talk to the Deck, Marines, or you yet, sir." Everyone's probably still in flux. The man hasn't changed so he probably hasn't even been back to his bunk yet, just like everyone else. Tillman then looks to Oberlin: "Check the bottom drawer of the locker. In the back should be some old Cylon models that look like their wartime stuff." Err. Last war.

"I have been trying to get a handle on our casualty reports in the wake of…everything," Cidra says, her focus on Tillman, tone grave, and with that tightly-leashed sound of control about it. Maintain. "Things are very chaotic right now. We have lost…half our Viper capacity, and two-fifths of our Raptors to the hostiles." Her voice catches for a moment as she says it, but she manages to plow onward. Focus on the business. As grim as it is. One step at a time. "We will be able to maintain regular CAPs for the moment, I believe, but I still do not know what in Hades happened to our systems when we faced those things. It was as if our controls were just knocked out cold. It did not seem to have as much affect on the Viper Mark IIs, however, so I believe we can lean on them heavily if worse come to worst again in terms of defense of the ship.""

Old Cylon Models. A faint shiver runs through Quinn, all the way up her spine, making goosebumps break out across her forearms and shoulders. She shakes it off, but numbly moves for that drawer, apparently willing to help Oberlin since that's the only helpful thing she really can do around here anyway. She pulls open the drawer, handing him out figures, watching each of them as she goes. Basestar. Raider. She remembers the descriptions, her grandfather's voice ringing in her ears for just a moment. Cidra's words bring her out of it, though, and she murmurs. "Sir, Bootstrap managed to reboot our system pretty damn fast and get us flying. If you'd just let us go out there… bring back SOME news. It'd be two jumps. We can do it in ten minutes!" She exclaims, still kneeling by the models cabinet, but her eyes are drilling holes in Cidra's direction.

"It's just like college all over again. The boys and I used to play 'Storm over Tauron' like it was going out of style." Oberlin states, glibly at first(but it's clearly forced). "Cylons. Yeah." Any attempt at glibness falls flat and he just shuts up as he shuffles over towards the indicated drawer, pulling out the markers. Something in Cidra's speech finally clicks in his head as he walks back with an armful of figures, supplementing what Quinn has already grabbed. "Thanks." He offers lamely towards the Raptor Captain but his eyes are firmly on Quinn now. "Planes were knocked out. Ships were knocked out. /We/ weren't knocked out. This has been eating at me. I've been too busy to devote all my time to puzzling it out but we need to start looking at critical systems and playing a game of 'This one is not like the others.'"

"I understand, sir, about the chaos. All the departments are dealing with their own personal hells at the moment. I'll need hard numbers when you have them, sir, but I'm not going to press you all at the moment. I was in CIC. I saw DRADIS and heard the comms." Tillman looks ghostly at the memories of the night before. His jaw sets though the man looks terribly uncomfortable with it. "Two of your officers came up to CIC last night after the battle trying to hand us over some hard drives from their Raptor. I don't know how in the hell they pulled them so fast or what they think they have, but I eventually convinced them to lock it up with the Marines." When Quinn begins, the man falls silent and looks to her. Tillman is doing his best to maintain a mask. "List off the systems. Speak your mind, Lieutenant."

"Lieutenant Trask and the remainder our ECOs managed to get our Raptors back to the ship, Captain, not fix them. The Deck has all affected ships slated for pulls. We still do not know what happened to them and I shall not have a Raptor jumped until we do. I agree that scouting is a priority but you going out a jaunt right this second is untenable." Cidra's tone to Quinn is flat. She adds to Tillman, "Captain Quinn has proposed a scouting mission to Virgon. Jump straight in, jump straight out, report back. I would like to get this underway as soon as we have Raptors able to do so, presuming command approval. I shall coordinate with Chief Atreus on when the needed Raptors can be ready." She nods short when Tillman mentions the visit from the pilots to CIC. "Lieutenant Walker requested my permission to bring that to CIC when we returned to the ship, and I allowed her to do so. I do not know what she thinks she was able to pull from her Raptor. Our systems were mussed a dozen ways and back again. I barely made it back. She seemed to think it vital CIC was given it as soon as possible, however. It is on me if she caused you any undue interruption during the crisis." Her focus also goes to Oberlin then. She doesn't bother to prompt him again, but she waits curiously for further from him.

Quinn relaxes just a bit as she hears those words, apparently having had misheard or misread something. She nods to the CAG. "We're ready, sir. As soon as the birds are operational… with Command's permission, we'll be out there in a second. I heard at least two of the Raptors were back to speed already, but it might have been wishful thinking." Maggie admits, still a touch more hope in her voice than there was five seconds ago. Ignoring the thought of viruses or what shut them down, as long as they're able to go forward once they are functional, she's happy again.

"Personal Hells are understandable, Captain. We. We just watched Picon /burn/." Oberlin says, his voice and throat rather raw. "I had — We all had.." He stows it and quickly regains a smooth, if exhausted semblance of composure as he gets on topic. "Sorry. No. Anyway, on the subject of vital systems. This takes in Vipers, Raptors, and at least every class of Capital ship we saw orbiting Picon. We draw up a list of ships that were affected, ships that were immune, or mostly-immune. Then we start looking at clear differences. With the exception of our Broke-ass FTL," he continues, rather indelicately, "Cerberus, Praetorian, Corsair all stayed online. Major, you said the Mark II's are generally clean? Raptors? I didn't even get a chance to look at those hard drives, yet." All the while as he talks, he starts rearranging those pieces around the representation of Virgon, sighing a little.

Tillman, still standing with his hands clasped behind his back from his perch on high, looks away from Cidra and towards the map table. He blinks away whatever is on his mind andtakes a long breath between his lips. "Well," he begins, pausing. "Virgon may be the best bet. If they hit Picon the way they did, its a firm bet that they tasked a large battlegroup to Caprica as well. Considering we heard the main fight was going down at Virgon?" He clicks his teeth, eyes falling away to the space between himself and the CAG. "Sir, that is probably a good idea from the Captain." There's an absent gesture towards Quinn. "Though we should also hit one of the less centric colonies on the recon like Aerilon or Saggitaron. Though planning it will be hairy. There's a lot of unknowns so I'll need to work with the assigned crew, or crews, closely. Develop a decision tree on potential events." To her last, the man finds her gaze again and shrugs. "We were all pretty rattled, sir. They were insistent and the Admiral got a little angry. I'm afraid I was the one who lost his temper, though. But I don't hold anyone responsible. I don't think Abbot does, either. I wouldn't worry about it, Major." He looks to Oberlin, then. "So an old Flakker and two brand new ships. Older fighters." The TACCO's not exactly up on computer programming.

"The reports I have been getting are very spotty, but that is understandable given the situation," Cidra replies to Quinn. "We shall see what Chief Atreus and the Admiral have to say." She crosses her arms along her chest as Oberlin speaks, nodding. "The Raptors' systems went red, nearly down, when we encountered the hostiles. Lieutenant Trask and some of our ECOs had to force a reboot so we could regain enough functionality to return to the ship. The Viper Mark-Sevens were affected as well, but our Mark-Twos were generally at normalcy throughout the encounter." A nod to Tillman. "I'm sure we all want as much information as we can get about what is going on out there. Aerilon space would be the more prudent secondary spot to check, to my mind. We can run a recon there as well, once we've the birds to do it in."

Quinn turns her eyes between the various brass on the deck, "Permission to go to the deck now, see how many birds we've got functional already? I know Bootstrap said they had two up. We might have a few others. We can start this planning now." Maggie is ready, looking for work, still in her flight suit and quite prepared to do the thing she's trained her entire life to do — mainly scouting missions in dangerous territory. Granted, it's never been quite so dangerous before, but she's finally seeing some light at the end of this proverbial tunnel. She steps forward, grabbing her helmet off the map room's table. Her eyes flicker briefly to Oberlin, "And we'll bring back more data for you too, LT. I promise." She flashes him a smile that tries to be reassuring.

"Older ships." Oberlin echoes with a brief nod towards Tillman. Whatever cracks were in his composure earlier and picks up a pen, tapping it while it's still capped at the table as he thinks, nudging the ominous form of an old Basestar. What the TACCO doesn't know about computer systems, it is a safe bet that the Lieutenant can fill in the gaps. "I'm generally up to speed on the changes that have been made in the last few years or so. And if you'll allow me the luxury of an educated guess, I'm pointing a finger at sabotage here. There's just /no other/ conclusion I can come to without blaming an inconceivable coincidence. There's too much symmetry to the universe to do that."

Some moments pass as he takes in the other details. "Trask is a smart guy. If he has spare cycles I'd like to talk to him too. This is a wild guess, but the Mark II's are old first-generation tech. The Corsair is old." He continues.

Oberlin adds, "If you think back to tech like that from the first war, the name of the game was security and stability over computerized components. Sirs? I don't like the possibilites buzzing around in my head here." He takes a deep breath, adding. "Virgon." Yes, he's from there. He doesn't press the issue of which colony is which, here.

"Major, I'll leave it up to you but considering our situation and all the unknowns, it would go either way if we look to two locations. Presence at one could alert all potential enemy forces and cause them to engage a simulatenous recon at a different location. Or..Using one Raptor minimizes exposure and risk of our forces. What would you prefer to do?" Tillman keeps his tone formal but the man looks just beat. His eyes move to Quinn though and her eagerness to go, but he doesn't say anything else. One thing at a time for him at the moment. "Sounds like a fair assessment, Lieutenant. Might want to get with the Deck Chief on that, though. And Engineering."

"Permission granted, Captain, I shall join you there shortly and put through the outline of your recon to command," Cidra replies to Quinn. "Have the Chief outfit the Raptors he deems up to this with missiles for your defense. But. The goal of this is recon, not offense. Get in and get out. Await word from command." She mulls Tillman's words, lips pursed. She nods. "Given our situation my preference is the latter. We should minimize our exposure. We are thin at the moment and the Cerberus herself remains vulnerable."

Quinn nods curtly to them all, snapping off a salute to Cidra, and then she's turning on the ball of her foot and practically dashing out the door. Work to do.

Quinn heads through the exit labeled <O> Out.
Quinn has left.

"Godspeed, Captain Quinn." Oberlin looks up, first and foremost as she dismisses herself before continuing with his little mock wargame like a kid in a sandbox shoving around a bunch of toy dump trucks of mass destruction. Zoom zoom, suckas.

"Scouting mission. Wish I could offer something more than well-wishes, I think I coul—" He snaps his mouth shut and stares back down at the plotter. "I can do more here. Anyway, I should have a chat with the chief and maybe take a look at those hard drives. I'd avoid tapping Engineering's resources too much with the FTL's the way they are. I don't want to randomize that Lieutenant more than he already seems to be. Here's what we have so far — an undefined opponent, committed to total war upon Colonial Forces and the populations and planets they are sworn to defend. They don't care about collateral damage, either, having gone nuclear. And they seem to be aided by some kind of sabotage or countermeasures which disable the more modern elements of the fleet."

Tillman nods to Cidra's approve of the single Raptor option, but watches Quinn as she dashes from the room. His eyes stay on the hatch even after she's gone before looking back to the CAG. "Alright. So shall we plan now or later?" He'll assume she will brief the aircrews. But his attention then turns to Oberlin. "Make it happen, regardless, Lieutenant. We all have a lot to do. FTL is a priority but I'm sure they can spare someone. But we know who we are fighting. Only one enemy we know of would grid out a planet with nuclear weapons. No single colony has the capabilities that we saw. Its the cylons."

"Does Tactical have a preference as to whether the initial Raptor scouts Virgon or Aerilon, Captain?" Cidra asks Tillman. "If we endeavor to limit our exposure, we should choose the target that will mine as much potential useable intelligence as possible." She swallows hard at mention of the Cylons. She does not disagree, but she looks utterly chilled. "Let us hash as we can now, Captain. I would like to have something coherent to bring to the Admiral ASAP."

"Of course. I just didn't want to be the one to say it, sir." Oberlin says towards Tillman respectfully enough. There's just enough of a bitter, sarcastic edge to his words that seeps out as he presses one of the basestars across the plotter towards the image of his beloved Virgon, flicking it with index finger. "Cylons. I move to answer the question of 'how' before 'why' although all these things are crucial. Forty years of us sending that poor bastard to Armistice Station while they were busy getting ready for /this?/" He asks, gruffly, leaning over the edge of the plotter table.

"I'll get with the Chief and someone /other/ than Lt. Maricon ASAP. Might be useful to mind a history lesson, too. Remember how our fleet elements would hole up in solar radiation-rich areas in the first war because they would raise havoc with Cylon cognitive systems?" He looks between the two officers and adds. "Solar radiation. Like Uram's." He points downward.

"My preference would be Virgon. That single spot should provide us with a good estimation on force dispositions and who else we can hook up with. As I said, Caprica is probably not someplace we should visit right now." Tillman is doing his level best to be antiseptic about all this. As long as he doesn't have to think about Scorpia or Gemenon. "However, buzzing one of the less centric colonies, as I suggested, would provide us with a good idea of how they have fared. Aerilon, Saggittaron, Tauron, Aquaria. Any of those would do. If we do send this crew to two planets, my preference is that they recon the other colony before Virgon. If there is any enemy presence or fighting still going on, likely Virgon will be the battlespace." Tillman finally looks around and decides to come down from the shadows to the map table. Another long breath is taken and both hands rubs at his cheeks before he takes another gander at whats in front of him. "Okay. Alright. We know Picon is a total loss. They took out twenty-seven battlegroups without taking a loss to a single basestar that we know of. My estimate on their force disposition at Picon puts them at around forty-five for that one colony alone. Give or take. If the primary engagement was around Virgon and they still had that many ships focused on Picon, I would say triple to quadruple the number of basestars in that engagement. They would want at least fifty percent advantage over our forces.." He's mulling. "Okay, Virgon is going to be a bitch if they control that space, sir." He then looks to Oberlin and shakes his head. "Make no assumptions, Lieutenant. If they had a problem in the prior war, don't assume they still have it. Think like a machine. You would correct any deficiencies in your own programming, right?"

Cidra nods short to Tillman. "We may only get one shot at this and, if we are just to use one Raptor, multiple jumps to multiple points will only give it more exposure. Virgon it is. That is the priority for a sitrep, I think. We can recon the other points in the colonies when both our Raptor crews and Cerberus are in a more secure position. I shall draft a plan to get in to the Admiral promptly." She says nothing to Tillman's rundown, but it obviously chills her. That exterior of dutiful composure she clings to so hard is wavering, though not entirely cracked.

[WIRELESS] The phone rings in the map room.

"Probable, but it was merely conjecture. It's less about programming and adaptation than it is about a complete overhaul of architecture. They'd have recreated whole new designs of themselves not based on silica pathways. Until we cut one open, we wouldn't know. I'll shelve it." Oberlin states in a lengthy stream of consciousness while he works. He looks between both officers and shakes his head a little. "I should get on those hard drives ASAP."

"Aye, sir." Tillman's voice is a bit detached as he looks at the basestar on the table. "Let me know what you plan to do with them. We'll need photorecon if you can get it and any sort of radio traffic your boys and girls pick up, too, Major." The TACCO's gaze lifts back to the woman. "It would also help to have normal pictures taken. Wide-angle stuff from the cockpits. Everything possible should be recorded. And tell your aircrew that they will be expected to record their feelings on it afterwards. I'm not looking for emotions and outrage though." He keeps his voice quiet. "More, just general feelings of danger. How they felt about any contacts they have on DRADIS and the legitimacy of any radio traffic. Unless you want someone from Tactical to go along." He then looks to Oberlin and shrugs. "Maybe. Maybe not. Like you said, its an unknown. We make zero assumptions. All we know is that we are fighting methodical enemies. Start from square one. Those basestars didn't even look like the originals at all. We're going to need brand new intelligence assessments about their force structure. If we can make contact with friendly units, I want you on a Raptor over to them right away to put heads together."

The phone on the wall rings and Tillman holds up a hand while he makes his way over to it.

The other side of the phone conversation can be read in: Green Light

[Into the Wireless] Tillman says, "Map Room, Tillman."

[Into the Wireless] Tillman says, "Yes, she is. Stand by for the CAG, Captain."

Tillman holds the receiver out for Cidra. "Captain Quinn, sir. She says Harrier Three Zero Seven is cleared by deck."

At the announcement of Tillman's request, Oberlin clears his throat a little roughly and he brings his head up from the plotter map. And then, his voice cracks as he regards the captain. "Understood. I will write off no possibilities. And I will make ready to go, ASAP." There's a long pause as he considers the possibility. "Thank you, sir." He looks over towards the CAG now, as well. For confirmation. "I'll try to requisition some equipment for surveillance and analysis."

Cidra nods to Tillman. "If you can spare a Tactical crewmember their presence on the mission would be invaluable. The Raptor certainly has room to fly three." She takes the phone.

[Into the Wireless] Cidra says, "This is Major Hahn. Go ahead, Captain."

Tillman nods to Oberlin and falls quiet while the Major is one the phone. Its obvious he has more for her but it will wait.

[WIRELESS] Quinn says, "Major. The Chief says Harrier-307 is completely operational and ready for duty. We're ready on your orders."

[Into the Wireless] Cidra says, "Excellent, Captain. Convey my thanks to the Chief for his quick work under extraordinary stress. I shall draft up a mission plan once our planning with Tactical is complete. Once we get the go-ahead from command, you are cleared to go. Just Virgon shall be our target to start. If we are just sending one Raptor I don't want them spread thin over multiple jumps. In, out, and get as much intel as you can."

Cidra chatters on the phone with Quinn, as girls do, about recon and missiles and things.

"I'll prioritize. Captain, requesting someone put those hard drives aside in a secure location for analysis? If there /is/ a clue pointing to a point of failure those are invaluable." He watches Cidra on the horn a moment longer and continues. "Should I get suited up, sir?" Anyone reading his profile would discover he /was/ always eager for field work.
And…That was Oberlin, yo.

[WIRELESS] Quinn says, "Understood, sir. Do we have an approximate timeline? And Bootstrap passes on to give his love."

[Into the Wireless] Cidra says, "No timeline as of yet but this is priority so I presume the Admiral will want it done ASAP. You'll be taking a crewmember from Tactical along. Captain Tillman will want specific information from this and it'd be best to have a personnel versed in precisely what he needs in the Raptor to gather it. Coordinate with him but you shall be in command. You'll have time to grab a shower and some rack time after CAP. I want you both at the top of your wits for this."

"If you're up for it, Lieutenant, you're quite welcome," Cidra says, though she looks to Tillman. He's his man, after all. "There will likely be some lag time while the Admiral reviews and adds anything he deems worthy to the mission. Be ready to jump out on our word, however."

"I was trained for this, sir." Which is something of an exaggeration, the Lieutenant just offered. Sure, he knows process and procedure and can adequately think on his feet. But is /anyone/ trained for the end of the world? His lips purse firmly as he nudges the replica Basestar one last time and stands straight. "I think my crewmates will be thankful for a change of clothes on my part, anyway." His attempt at mirth is sad and hollow, but he makes it. "Permission to change out and get ready? I'd like to begin a cursory analysis of that data in what downtime's available."

Tillman looks from Oberlin to Cidra, ignoring the Lieutenant's requests for the moment. "Your call, Major. You're risking crewmembers. I'll readily volunteer to this. I'm benching Ensign Kulko for it, though. And Captain Hellicon is not versed in what we need done at all. Oberlin is our intel officer and probably going to be our best person on cylon capabilities. You know me. Our srengths are also our weaknesses if we're lost. Either of us can do the job, though."

Cidra rotates a look between Tillman and Oberlin. A brow arches at Tillman. "I am sure there will be much chaos to sort out in CIC that you may be needed for here, Captain. It is your call, but I would think Lieutenant Oberlin's temporary absence from the ship would be less of a detriment to command than your own. Ensign Kulko seems a good man but not as experienced as ideal, and I agree Captain Hellicon should not go." Tone flat on that last point. "You or the Lieutenant, it is your call, Captain. Quinn shall be in command but either of your input would be invaluable."

[WIRELESS] Quinn says, "Understood, sir. We'll head out on the next CAP with two of the Mark IIs, then come back and shower… sleep. I'll coordinate with Captain Tillman after CAP. Is there anything else, sir?"

Oberlin really doesn't have much to add. He stands at attention, in his rumpled Dress Grays which really need a change at this point(just stand downwind of him). At the mention of Hellicon, his lips shift a little to the side but it's impossible to immediately discern what that means.

[Into the Wireless] Cidra says, "That is it for the moment, Captain. You shall be kept apprised."

Cidra is still half on the phone with Quinn, but she finally gets done with that.

Tillman looks from the CAG, then to Oberlin. "Fine. Oberlin, pack your shit. Report to Captain Quinn. Grab a corpsman from medical in case you all run across wounded and need to pick someone up. Take a camera to supplement the Raptor's detail and a notebook. Put down notes or anything you think of or feel while you're there. And make sure every single bit of radio traffic is recorded. Assume that encryption is compromised and do not let anyone break radio silence. Are you crystal on that?"

"Clear on all counts, sir." As ragged as he seems, Oberlin snaps to attention as he affirms the order. "Per Fleet Combat Operations instructions Chapter 5, Section 1.501." He seems to sink into the role of quoting regulations here as a sort of comforting measure, easing the stress in his voice. "Not a peep from us." With that, he amends, "We're gettin' the band back together." With that, he turns on his heel and starts to make way for the exit, lingering a bit for any further instructions prior to his departure.

"Crystal, Captain," Cidra replies to Tillman. "I shall cobble the plan of this together for the Admiral's approval. I hope he will have us off promptly." Deep down, she's no happier about sitting about than Quinn is.

Tillman nods to Oberlin and gestures. "Get on it, Lieutenant..Unless you want me taking that back seat slot for you. Get your butt up to medical and find a corpsman. Tel lthem its orders from command." Can't blame the guy for occasionally throwing weight. But he looks back to Cidra. "Major, if you go out on a recon, I'm going with you. I won't take No for an answer, either, sir."

"It is Captain Quinn who shall be going out on this venture. She is a stronger pilot for this type of flight than myself. And I fear I cannot leave the ship at present." That frustration is more palpable in Cidra's tone as she says that. She'd clearly /like/ to be the one with her neck out there. "And I doubt that will change, but you have a seat on the next bus my Raptors send out if you deem it warranted."

Tillman watches the intel officer bound out and he looks back to Cid. "Better believe I will, sir." He fishes into his pocket for smokes and shakes one out, offering her the pack while he lights his own with his other hand. His face glows under the light and those eyes look back up to her. "Doin alright, Cid?" he asks around the cigarette, voice softening. "Ain't nobody here but us. How're you holding together?" Its an obvious personal concern for the woman.

Cidra doesn't answer that right away. Deep breath. Exhaled slowly. She is not a woman who lets much of what's going on inside her show, even during ordinary times. She has always worn her composure like a cloak. Though it's very frayed right now. "May I bum a cigarette, please, Clive?" To his question, a shrug. She suddenly looks even more tired. "Before last night, I could count on my fingers the number of officers I had lost under my command. Accidents, mostly. I…I cannot even remember all the names of the personnel in some of those squadrons without a list. They were so new. They…they deserve better than that…"

Clive steps over to her and hands the pack and his lighter over. "I know what you mean. Nobody deserved that. It was.." He shakes his head, sighing heavily and looking away. "We're still working on lists. We probably lost a couple hundred officers. Probably about the same number of enlisted." He takes a long drag and finds her again. "What about you? I know you can't really take a break but how are -you- holding up?"

Cidra smokes. Inhaling long, then exhaling in a thin plume. Her eyes follow the drift of the smoke as it dissipates in the ship's air. "I am…maintaining." It's the only answer she seems capable of giving. "One step at a time. There is much work to do among the Air crew, things are very chaotic. But it occupies my mind. I thank the gods for that. How are you?"

Tillman offers a slow nod. "Yeah. I'm trying to keep one foot in front of the other. I don't envy what you've got in front of you, either. Me?" He makes a sound like a laugh but his expression flashes like he looks as if he might collpase. "CIC was a mess. Abbot froze up on a call I needed made. I killed a hundred civilians and Admiral Kulle with our own guns. No telling how many get jettisoned to vaccuum when we pulled away from the station. Can't stop thinking about my family, either. I keep wondering about Scorpia and Gemenon."

Cidra's eyes widen a notch at Tillman's account. She nods short, though. "I heard the initial reports. You did what had to be done. Countless more lives would have been lost had you not." Cold comfort that may be. She lets a long sigh. "I am trying not to think about Gemenon. I will go mad if I…take what you know and do not dwell on what you don't. It is the only way to keep sane."

"Heh. Yeah. What had to be done. Mackay said the same thing. Guy's kids were on Picon, too. He, ah..That news went over about as well as you can imagine." Tillman takes a drag from the cigarette and hangs the hand off the back of his neck during his exhale. "We're about to know more. I won't lie. I almost don't want to know. There's a certain amount of comfort in the question but it could be good news or bad. We all hope one way but after seeing the situation last night?" He swallows and looks away. "I want go to with Quinn but I know I'm probably not in the best state and you're right. I'm probably needed here."

"His children…your daughters…I cannot even imagine," Cidra says softly. She approaches Tillman, reaching out to put a hand on his shoulder. "But you will know soon enough. You are right. There is comfort in the unknown. Let us take what we can from that for now. I would like nothing more than to go out in her place as well, Clive. But I have my duties here."

Tillman clears his throat with the touch, jaw setting as he looks to the wall. "Yeah. Maybe." He takes another drag and rehangs the hand. "I, ah. I was talking to Quinn about some things a few days ago. Set my mind off and-" he waves the hand around, smoke lingering in a line along its trail before it rehangs. "And just got some bad feelings. Wrote home to my family. Told them to head out of town for a few days. Visit her mom on Gemenon. I don't even know where they are. Or were." The guy is holding it together but he looks like he might teeter into something like tears or even explosive at any time. "Yeah. We both have our duties. Half of me wants to steal a Raptor crew and go find them. The other half is telling me to just get over it and accept it. Frakkin frustrating as hell." Another drag and he ashes the smoke into the tray. "I know I won't go takin one of your birds, though, but I just..grr. Gods I want to."

"We all feel the same way, Clive. We must keep our heads. We must." The last is said softly by Cidra. More to herself than the TACCO. "I…I have things to attend to." That said, she starts to go.

Tillman nods to her and watches the woman go. "Be careful, Cid." He then turns back to the table and looks back to the cylon figures arranged around it.

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