PHD #408: Incidents of Various Sorts
Incidents of Various Sorts
Summary: Cidra and Khloe discuss Wade's strange 'visions' and various Pallas-related incidents. The possibly Cylon-related hallucinations are the least traumatic part of the conversation.
Date: 10 Apr 2042 AE
Related Logs: Yes, to be posted
Cidra Khloe 
CAG's Office - Deck 10 - Battlestar Cerberus
Though it's not much bigger than the average ship supply closet, the office of the commander of Cerberus' air group has as much luxury as one can hope for aboard a battlestar: privacy. It is dominated by a blocky gray metal desk straight out of standard Navy supply with an equally standard-issue rolling chair behind it. A few other chairs are shoved against one wall, for those who drop by for whatever business they have with the CAG. The surface of the desk is covered by a computer and stacks of files and octagonal papers covering whatever bit of aerial bureaucracy she's mussing with that day. A few heavy books on air mechanics - mostly devoted to Raptors - occupy the shelves. The room is largely devoid of decoration, save one item hanging on a hook on the shelf direct above her desk: a set of prayer beads, well-worn olive wood and strung with a single, crudely-carved owl charm.
Post-Holocaust Day: #408

Cidra is logging some time in her office today, hatch slightly ajar, as it generally is when she's in residence and not dealing with something terribly private. Seated at her desk, idly toying with her prayer beads as she reads over the daily reports rather than smoking. One might think her perpetual chain smoking is as much to do with keeping her hands busy as ingesting nicotine. But her cigarette is out today, and she's nursing a now-cooling cup of tea instead as she skims.

Bang bang, comes the herald of a certain Poppy. She steps inside, coming to rest behind the chairs in front of Cidra's desk. She's dressed in her fatigues, complete with the heavy overshirt rolled up to her elbows and unbuttoned, showing tanks underneath. A new look for Khloe, for sure, but it could just be because she's still a mite under the weather despite finally being released from sickbay. "Major, reporting as asked," she states, the usual fire and edge to her clipped words somewhat diminished. Again, likely due to how severe her illness was; it'll likely be another day before Poppy is up to full capacity of piss and vinegar.

Cidra still looks thinner, and is still recovering her full energy, from her bout with the 'space flu' as well. She looks up and sets her paper aside. It's a copy of the Gemenon recon report and looks well-read. "Poppy. Sit, please. We have much to go over. Tea?" She straightens to pour a bit more in her own cup, whatever the Viper pilot ultimately wishes. "Captain Matise did a fair job of managing the day-to-day while I was in Sickbay, yet I still felt I was returning to a mountain when I saw my desk again."

"Broadside is a good pilot and commands well, but paper-pusher he's not," Khloe observes about her fellow Captain as she slips into the indicated seat. "No, I'm fine, thank you," she states, crossing one leg over the other. "I'll let you start. I've got a small mountain of concerns, myself, but I'm sure you've already thought of them and have handled them."

"Let us deal with the larger first, and narrow in on the smaller," Cidra says. "You have heard the reports of what Sweet Pea, Shakes and the rest found on Gemenon by now, I trust? I think there are few left in this Fleet that have not." Faintest of smirks though her tone is not, precisely, disapproving of that particular reports wide circulation. "Humans and Cylons in a sort of 'garden party' atmosphere, the way Sweet Pea described it. Raiders welcoming, nearly playful. What do you make of it all?"

Khloe nods slighty. "I've heard the rumors but I couldn't get much of a confirmation. It's a disturbing thought that humans would willingly cooperate with Cylons after they so completely destroyed the Colonies." She shrugs lightly. "I trust Sweetiepea's judgment," she explains, using her own variation for her BFF's callsign. "If she saw these things, then I believe them to be true. I just don't know what the motivations of the Cylons are, now."

"It is the motivations that are the question. I shall admit, it relieves me to find humans alive at all down there in some good condition. I am willing to sort out the whys of what they are doing later, but I would know why." There's a passion underlying Cidra's tone that she tries to temper, but cannot quite. Well, she is Gemenese born. "It is the Raiders I was most curious about, from your point of view. From the accounts of our Raptor team they made no attempt to engage our people in a hostile manner. Rather they flew in 'formation' with them, and even attempted to 'play.'" Her thumb tightens around the beads she has wound over her right hand. "Specialist Sofia Wolfe, who did fly along, compared them to 'otters.'"

Khloe snorts. "Specialist Wolfe has a lot of growing up to do," she comments, her words carrying her usual edge. But she quickly puts the knife away. "Raiders are Raiders. Centurions are Centurions, and skinjobs are skinjobs. There's some sort of plan within a plan we're not seeing, and it is clearly easy to get duped by the notion of just forgetting the war and embracing our enemies." She snorts at that. "My recommendation is that you don't send easily-impressionable people on recon missions, in order to get pragmatic, objective observations."

"Raiders are Raiders. And yet, these behaved like no Raiders we had ever encountered before. One must ask why, if we are to fully understand what our enemy is doing there. And what it might mean for those humans left alive on the planet." Cidra's hands clench around her beads again, without her really seeming to notice she's doing it. "Sweet Pea said the Raiders over Gemenon had a 'II' insignia branded upon them. Not unlike the triple-hashed Raiders we encountered during the Swarm. Which it now does seem were ultimately commanded by the 'Three' creature. Medical's findings of that 'chip' in the heads of the Raiders is suggestive they can control the way the creatures 'think' in some regard. Perhaps these have been programmed to be less aggressive, though I cannot see the utility behind this for my part."

Khloe frowns in thought, folding her arms across her chest and alighting fingertips on her chin. "Factions within the Cylons?" She supposes aloud. "Threes controlled by threes, and the 'II' controlled by… twos? Or elevens?" A beat. "Twelve different skinjob models showing different… 'racial'… traits, like twelve different colonies?" Khloe shakes her head. "This is just conjecture. This doesn't prove anything. I still say it's a deception."

"So I am beginning to think." Cidra admits it softly. "The visuals sighted a model we know to be an Eleven. Perhaps that is what the double-hash stands for. Two ones. Or perhaps simply Two, as you say, though of that model we know nothing. It may be deception. I have long thought that was behind the Eleven's aid to us in the past. But some times…" She trails off, as if trying to get her thoughts in order. "Have you heard much of the accounts of what happened on the ground on Leonis? When we sent our away teams back to that colony. Gods, it was so long ago. Not a handful of months after the colonies fell."

"Some, but I'm afraid you're talking to the wrong person when it comes to skinjob gossip or reading recon reports that don't pertain to me or my duties," Khloe explains. "I've been mostly uninvolved in trying to figure out what the skinjobs are trying to accomplish. Which brings me to my first concern." She uncrosses and recrosses her legs, arms still crossed. "What happened to Drips? There's a growing rumor that he's a Cylon, or at the very least a sympathizer. Supposedly he was rambling something about god in the singular."

"It concerns the nature of the creature known as Eleven. And an act kindness she did to our personnel there, which I have never been able to set right in my mind," Cidra says. But she does not launch into the story. Wade is the more immediate concern. "It happened during the reconnaissance. When they neared a place called Lampridis Falls. Drips had apparently had some…I hesitate to call it a vision, but he and some other members of the crew shared a dream of this place, to which none of them had ever been. The same dream. Calling them all to these Falls. The Oracles teach us such things are most powerful." And the CAG is definitely a believer. "From the way the others on the recon tell it, Drips become delirious and began ranting…" She picks up the paper again and opens to the actual rant. "Time is the undammed river that plunges over the falls. The falls. Remember you the falls, Children of God is God is God is —" She stops. Exhaling long. "And then he fell into the comatose state, in which he has remained since. Reports from Medical say his condition is stable, but unchanged."

Khloe narrows her eyes at the retelling. "So, what you're saying is, pilots had confessed that they had shared… dreams, visions, whatever… and they had never been to the places that they dreampt of? And they weren't investigated? Forgive me, Toast, you know I'm not one for chapel, but that sort of confessed behavior didn't send up a red flag for you?" Khloe's irritation is apparent in the increasing edge to her voice. "The pilot that I trust most to help me with the day-to-day of the Black Knights is comatose, and the prospect that he's a Cylon agent really does not sit well with me. I'd like to think I have better judgment than that."

"The experiences were reported. Lieutenant Duncan was ever cooperative, and as eager if not more to find their meaning as anyone else. Intelligence did not think these 'experiences' indicated Cylon agency, and neither do I," Cidra says firmly. "There are few pilots in this Wing I would trust more than Drips. I know you do not believe. But I think there is importance in these experiences, whatever they may be. It is unnerving that Drips spoke in near-echo of monotheistic Cylons, but the prospect that he is an agent…" She shakes her head firmly. "No. No, I do not think so, or he would not have reported what he had initially seen at all."

Grumbling quietly, Khloe lets it go. She knows better than to argue with Cidra, especially when it's on matters of faith. "All right, fine, I'll play it your way. Let's say that Drips did get a 'vision'. Why would it be in the Cylon monotheistic, and not from the perspective of the Lords?" A beat. "And who else had these dreams? You don't have to tell me everyone, just the ones in the Knights. So I know who to watch."

"Lieutenant Demarcos claimed she shared such as well," Cidra replies. "For the Viper pilots, those are all I do know. Sawyer Averies and Sofia Wolfe were also…present in one of the experiences Drips and Hosedown had. From what I am told, all their accounts were precisely the same. So you see, it is difficult to dismiss as mere halluncination. And were it merely one of them, perhaps it could be said it indicates Cylon agency? But all?" She shakes her head. "No, that does not follow at all what we know of the skinjobs, I do not think. I shall not claim to understand what may be driving this, but whatever strangeness it is, I do not question Drips' humanity. His safety on the other hand…I can do little now but pray he wakes. That poor crewman from the Deck, Laramy, did not."

Khloe nods slowly. "You'll have to forgive me if I don't share your optimism, Toast. I won't treat him any differently… Hosedown, either. But I will look twice over my shoulder at my six from here-on out until this matter is closed." She rubs underneath her nose and sniffs. "Anything else, Major?"

"We cannot look over our shoulders when fighting and flying, Poppy. At least, I cannot. I decided long ago that I had to have trust in those I flew with, or I could trust no one. I do not, I think, trust blindly. But I shall believe my pilots are true until given good reason not to, and Drips has never shown himself to be anything but loyal." Cidra smirks faintly. "Not so bright on occasion, or he would have gotten himself to Sickbay when he began coming down with this virus. But loyal…he embodies it." As for the last question, she pauses. "Yes, actually. There is a matter. A disciplinary one. The Master at Arms has given us the opportunity to handle it in-house, as it seems to have thus far been limited to loose talk rather than any action. It concerns one of the Knights, and I do think it best if you take the lead in handling this for…" She clears her throat. "Various reasons."

Khloe doesn't comment further on 'checking her six', but instead seems interested in the next point of business. "Who, what, where, when, and why?" She asks. "Constin came to you? The Sergeant doesn't usually stick his nose outside of the Corps, so this must be a doozy."

Cidra nods to that. "It is an issue of some delicacy, as it concerns the anti-Cylon and Cylon 'lover' tension aboard-ship. I can give you an account as he gave it to me, though you may wish to ask more of him as you proceed with it. He heard the reports directly and can answer most better than I. But I gather that some months back - in September of last year, if I understand correct - there were threats made by several personnel aboard this vessel against those they deemed 'Cylon lovers.' A civilian has apparently come forward and claimed Lieutenant Ellinon made such to them during this time."

Khloe nods slightly, brow furrowing slightly. "I see. I can approach the Sergeant if you wish. But, you wouldn't bring it up unless you had some information you were willing to share with me, or you had your own take on the facts."

"The Master at Arms did not tell me who had made these accusations against Spiral. I gather to protect the one who made them, as he says they came from a civilian," Cidra says. "As it was related to me, Lieutenant Ellinon approached this person - as I did say back in September. So the incident itself is very long-done. Apparently this person did not know Spiral, and he approached them in some degree of darkness, so they have only now been able to identify him. I guess due to some recent passing interaction. But back to the incident itself. I am told by the Gunnery Sergeant Constin that Spiral told this person that if it was discovered they had aided the Cylons - or showed Cylon sympathy - that this civilian would 'end up like Lauren Col.'" Cidra shakes her head darkly. "The same Lauren Coll who was gunned down - killed - on Sagittaron by some local who called her a skinjob."

"I see," Khloe muses, taking all of this information in. Nodding, she states, "I'll handle it. Shouldn't be a problem; Constin and I have a good professional relationship." Both of them being hard-assed Cancerans, of course. "I'll confront Spiral when I have more information." She inclines her head slightly, eyes on Cidra, as if waiting for more information, or the "that's all" indication.

"That seems to be the extent of things, those threats," Cidra says. "I told the Master at Arms we would deal with it, and he does not seem inclined to press things beyond that point, given that no harm ever came to this civilian. If you have any 'blanks' you need filled in, he can manage it, but I do not think there is much more to it. He also mentioned Spiral accusing someone in the military - I presume this is to do with his suspicions about Hosedown - of being a Cylon, but we are both familiar with his paranoia where that is concerned, and it has never escalated. My own instinct is that this was but loose talk, driven by alcohol and bitterness, and no physical harm has apparently come to this civilian. I shall let you handle how best to proceed with this matter, however. I would like to stay rather hands off due to an…" She pauses. Ahem. "…incident recently between Spiral and myself."

"Incident?" Khloe arches an eyebrow, studying Cidra's face. The inscruitable one is often quite inscruitable, but the throat-clearing was telling. The realization slowly sinks in, and Khloe goes wide-eyed, and mouth agape. Not in the amused astonishment between sisters, but a more offended, pained look than anything. Quickly, she shuts her mouth, and her facial expression turns hard. "I'm not going to ask questions and get answers I wish I didn't hear," she states flatly. "I take it that we're done here, Major." She moves to rise, perhaps out of a need to flee Cidra's presence more than anything else, but her feet remain rooted until her superior officer dismisses her.

"I am not 'involved' in any sort of way with Spiral. It was but a momentary…lapse in judgment," Cidra says. "But you can see the need for no appearances of favoritism, I trust." The offended look deflates her, some. Expression turning sad. "Poppy…ever since Leonis I have…" But a second glance at the woman's face makes her break off any sort of explanation. "Never mind. It shall not happen again, and I shall let you go. Dismissed."

Khloe departs quicker than she arrived, wasting no time in finding her usual long-legged stride. She cannot get out of that office fast enough. And all the while, disappointment following her out.

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