PHD #174: Lack of Spin
Lack of Spin
Summary: Sawyer gives Trask the 411 about what happened with the search party.
Date: 19 Aug 2041 AE
Related Logs: EVENT: The Widening Gyre
Sawyer Trask 
Inside a Raptor at the Colonial Base Camp on Sagittaron
The inside of a Raptor, yo.
Post-Holocaust Day: #174

By the time those who had initially flown with Bunny and Bootstrap return to the Raptor, so as to return to the base camp, the ECO's anguish had already given way to anger, which is one of very few emotions he's ever been successful channeling into something constructive. There may be a lack of the usual banter, not to mention the addition of an uncharacteristic, searing intensity that remains self-contained, but the backseater gets the job done with pointed competence.

As the passengers disembark, each and every one is head-counted by Evandreus, who always insists on being the first one on and the last one off the ship. Pausing from the standard post-flights checks, Trask manages to intercept Sawyer before she is able to disembark, and he requests that she meet him back at the Raptor in about an hour's time.

The minutes since then have crept closer and closer to sixty, and the man waits inside, slumped just a little bit as his gaze bores into the ECM console.

It's good that Trask picked a time that gave Sawyer the opportunity to square some things away. First and foremost was depositing Sofia at the make-shift medic station back at base camp, before she then disappeared to collect her thoughts and her notes about what happened on their little excursion. All in all, she's probably a little late in making the rendezvous, taking a round about way on getting back to the Raptor. Finally, she steps up on the low wing and ducks inside the tight confines of the ship, wordlessly.

Words aren't necessary to announce the woman's arrival. Perhaps Trask has some kind of internal DRADIS that registers any and all who board his bird. Even so, he doesn't immediately stir. "Thanks for coming," is eventually murmured in a tone fitting for someone whose Dakar rally, desert-of-the-soul mileage recently reset the odometer. "Take a seat, if you like." In counterpoint, the Taurian rises to handle the closing of the hatch. He's yet to bother removing his flightsuit, although the upper portion has been sloughed off, the sleeves tied around his waist, subsequently revealing well-toned arms and shoulders adorned with kirituhi tatau. Sweat is evident from the sheen of his light tan skin, the darkening of his tank top's fabric, and the dampness of his hair.

Sawyer glances over her shoulder as Trask secures the hatch, a faint raise to one of her eyebrows but she doesn't comment in the positive or negative regarding it. Instead, she uses her boot to kick down one of the jumpseats and settles down on it, knees spread wide and elbows resting on the meat of her thighs. It's not until she's fully seated that she speaks, "What's with all the subterfuge?" Her eyes tick tock up and down the man, quickly taking in his appearance as if recording it for later reference.

There is a sense of disconnect about him that is not uncommon when a person shuts down and enters self-preservation mode. It is something that soldiers who seek to stay sane quickly learn to do. Faintly, ever so faintly, there is a ghost of a smirk that manifests at Sawyer's question. "I thought reporters were really big on semantics." The closing of the hatch is heralded by a *thunk* sound. "Subterfuge and privacy aren't the same thing." That said, his ass commandeers a jumpseat opposite the blonde. "I hope you won't be too disappointed that this isn't some pretense to lure you in here for a frak." Trask still has his sense of humor, wan as the delivery may be. It is a good sign for the likes of him.

Sawyer waves a hand dismissively at his last, retorting in a dry tone. "Ah well, a girl can hope." There's a pause as she studies his face for a moment, and then leans back with a groan of protest from the metal crook she's sitting on. "Do you mind if I smoke? Something about being down on a planet again makes me all twitchy like Leonis." There's no comment as to what reporters are or are not big on, but she seems a little bit more at ease, regardless.

"Nah. I don't mind," he says with a vague shake of his head. After all, as the Squadron Leader, he can calls dibs on the other Raptor so Evan's asthmatic lungs don't have to contend with the residual smoke. Trask angles himself and props down the seat next to his, then wearily reclines. One arm is subsequently draped across his forehead. "Leonis…" Wry, that, as if the idea of her comparing here to there is akin to a little girl believing in flying unicorns made of sparkles and rainbows. It doesn't take long for the smirk to subside. "This your first time to Sagittaron?"

"I never dealt much with this Colony, no. I worked primarily within the prison system on Virgon where people were content to believe things like this, like insurgency, didn't exist. So far, it's about what I expected, though: brimming with amenities and hospitality. I was inexplicably ticked, however, to find a woman in charge of that little village. From what I've come to understand, most traditionalist Sagittarian sects don't value women as much as men. I suppose there are exceptions to every rule, and it's not like I had overlong to be intrigued before she threw a man into a pit of death and we were powerless to stop her. I suppose, in the grand scheme of things, who are we to judge their way of doing things. I'm torn, but it's hard to be a humanitarian when you're more than slightly jaded. So." Sawyer pulls out her pack of cigarettes, shaking one free to grab it with her lips so she can pull it the rest of the way out. It's lit with her opposite hand while she offers the crinkled package his way should he be inclined. "If I'm not here to frak, I assume you wanted to appeal to my civilian journalist side?"

"If it's any consolation," which it isn't meant to be, if his sardonic tone is any indication, "you aren't the only one who never dealt much with this Colony, let alone this specific region." Something else in his tone is suggestive that he is not one of those people. It might seem more so when Kal comments, "Traditionalism varies from region to region, like anywhere else. Subscribing to any of those traditions isn't mandatory for insurgency or terrorism. All they care about is their autonomy from the Colonial systems. Oh, and basically subjugating everyone else on this planet to their wants and ways." Jade-colored glasses appear to be all the rage this season. That all said, Trask turns his head to peer at Sawyer, his arm still draped above his brow. "Dunno. What does that entail?" It sounds like a genuine question, as though her answer will shape his.

For the record, he seems not at all surprised about the whole man tossed into a pit of death bit. Hells, blasé might even be an apt adjective.

"We read about things in History books in school, but I'm sure you know how that goes. It's just a glossed over version of what the publicists and school board want us to believe, so it fits in the tidy little box of curriculum. We can't all be experts on every Colony and its culture, and I was still relatively young in my career when our worlds fell apart." Sawyer pauses to take a puff of her cigarette, the pack tucked away as she considered Trask to have declined by way of ignoring the offer. "Consider this my crash-course education, but I /will/ learn."

She cants her lips towards the upper bulkhead of the small ship, angling the exhale away from Trask's personal space. "What do you mean, what does that entail? I'm not under any obligation to command to repeat anything that goes on down here. They let me down here as a courtesy and I, in return, will serve as their historian. It's a rather loose working relationship we have. If some details, like…" Sawyer stops mid-spiel and levels a look to Trask. "Look. I'm going to cut the bullshit, you asked me here for a reason, even if it's just to be in close confines with a hot blonde, so out with it."

Quiet for some moment, his eyes linger. Assessing. "By your own admission, it's not your job to be." Which, star reporter that she is, Sawyer can likely read between the lines and realize that Trask wasn't being disparaging about her. "For some people, though," like, say, mission leaders, "it is their job to know their shit. And, in this instance, I assure you, they can't rightfully claim glossed-over treatments of the material." The man would know; he wrote a report about insurgent tactics in the region and personally gave it to Constin. Not that he reveals any of that, but news hounds have a knack for picking up trails.

"I'm aware of the arrangement," the El-Tee continues, rather impassively. "I just have no idea what you mean when you talk about appealing to your civilian journalist side. This all could've been bypassed, though, if you'd just asked why I asked you here." Which she now has done, so the ECO rolls over on his side to fully regard the reporter. "I asked you here because I would like you to tell me what the frak happened out there." Again, any negativity in his tone isn't directed at the blonde. All is not well within the ranks, evidently.

Sawyer hitches a foot up into the little square of seat with her, resting her arm over the tent of her knee, leaving her hand with the smoldering cigarette to dangle. "I like to feel out the room before I plunge ahead with the questions, keeps me from making blunders I'm not apt to recover from." Her voice takes on a quieter tone, as if she's betraying some confidences to the man. Her hand makes a return trip to her lips, fingers grazing her cheek as the filter is propped between her lips for another drag of sweet nicotine.

"The team progressed towards a village in the trees. First we encountered a tarp over a trap dug out of the earth, filled with spikes and dung. It was impassable unless we went directly over, so the second option was to boat around. Just offshore, there were some husks of boats, and five decided to swim and tote them back to shore. Near as I can tell, they encountered a second booby trap, this time a bomb, which exploded shortly after that small team reached the first boat. I don't know if it was triggered or timed." She tells it in clipped short phrases of truth without her usual flare for embellishment, "We lost Penelope Paris. Kadena Macer was concussed, Calvin Oberlin suffered shockwave damage, Sofia Wolfe was disoriented, and Tisiphone Apostolos was shook up…" There seems to be more, but Sawyer takes a moment and a breath, wherein she pinches the bridge of her nose.

To the confession, the man concedes, "Fair enough. Not that I am so egotistical to imagine you asked everyone all about me, but even people who have never even met me are well aware that I am not one much for tact." That might actually be said in all seriousness. Weary yet attentive, he listens to what Sawyer says. Whatever outward appearance Trask may wear for the world, the soulfulness of those big brown eyes of his always hint at the turbulence beneath the insouciantly facetious surface. This instance is no different. Despite the impassiveness of his demeanor, there's something bereft about him when Penelope is mentioned. "Boats." The word might as well be a condemnation of those who had that idea. A weighted pause, then, "Doesn't matter." Whether it was triggered or timed. "I gave warning about the power spike before the explosion. I demanded a sit rep that was not at all forthcoming. Whoever was leading disregarded both and pressed on. Penny's just as much dead by their arrogance and stupidity than by what I imagine was C-4." Condemnation might actually be an understatement.

There's a long pause after Trask lays out the blame in a manner that's purely black and white. As a woman who is trained to see the grey in everything, her eyes narrow slightly while she tries to absorb that implication. Finally, she just chooses to continue, as he asked for the full story and that was merely the half way point. "The rest of the swimmers barely made it back to the shore where I was meanwhile working on a way to bridge the gap. It was discussed among the group, or rather there was an order from you, then one from Cora, then something from that marine that sounded like one, and it all got jumbled as to whether we were returning or pressing on. In reality, that's something for you military folks to sort out later, I was going to move forward until someone specifically told me to stop, as I had been ignored up to that point anyways. Just as I dropped a board across the expanse, the locals showed up, or rather popped up out of the ground." Sawyer's thumbnail scrapes along the jut of her lower lip, catching on a dry spot of skin which she then moistens with her tongue. "They were hostile, told us to leave despite our best efforts to assure them we were there for their benefit and that eventual radiation would consume them. At this point, the wounded were requiring more medical aid then we could afford them on the scene, and so the return to base order was executed." She's really getting better at this military foo. "Oh. And the locals had some man they accused of some wrong doing and threw them into a pit like I said earlier, but I didn't really stick around for the details of that." There's a pause. "Next time I'll get on the comms myself."

Nothing in Trask's world really is black and white. It's more like a swathe of grey that may seem otherwise to others. "Mission parameters stated to RTB at the first sign of engagement. Call me old-fashioned, but having a remotely detonated bomb blow one's bits to the Boatman qualifies. But, hey, how the frak could some ECO whose last tour of duty was this hell hole possibly know better than some intel officer whose career is based on her family name, or some Marine /I briefed/ and gave a detailed written report to about insurgent tactics." Vitriolic? You betcha. Sawyer's not the only one who's been blown off by those in-charge.

Something catches his attention, though, and he pounces it. "What do you mean board?" The rest can wait.

Sawyer actually has the audacity to smirk at Trask's diatribe. "Amazing how a woman who went from being a suspected cylon humanoid model went to trusted counter-intelligence officer in, what, the span of a month or so? And yet Abbot is still locked up, without an ounce of concrete evidence against him but hearsay." Her cheeks hollow out as she takes a deep, lungful pull on her cigarette, the paper flaring an angry red before it dies down to dull ash. Ash she just flicks on the floor of the Raptor for lack of a better place. "One of the boards that was blown clear from the boat. I was going to use it as a bridge."

"I guess that's just one of the many perks of being a Nikephoros," is sardonically quipped. As for Abbot, Trask drily notes, "That's a whole other clusterfrak." And one he finds less interesting in comparison. "So, lemme see if I'm understanding you… there was a pit of shit and spikes too wide to cross an' the only options were to fashion a bridge with planks or try to sail decrepit a boat that was giving off an energy surge, and the 'mission leader'," the air quotes are audible and full of contempt, "opted for the latter route despite my heads-up?" It's not that he sounds skeptical. "I just wanna be certain that I am fully grasping the level of absolute idiocy that resulted in a death and some grievous injuries."

With an arm, he presses into a more upright position. Darkly, he snickers, "And, naturally the person who made that decision remains unscathed." The anger? It's starting to boil over. The snark now freely doth flow. "Why the frak not just skirt the shore? If people were frakkin' swimming to a frakkin' boat, they was plenty enough room to maneuver."

"We could have swam around the obstacle, sure, but I'm guessing it was more a speedy retreat they were worried about. And going by boat, or using the boats to build a bridge, either way they were needed and had to be retrieved. I'm not saying I like it, I'm just giving you another view. You're angry." Sawyer has a penchant for stating the obvious it seems, during which, she's standing. "And I don't get paid to take a punch. If you want to talk about this tomorrow when we've both had a chance to breathe, just find me. Otherwise, I'll assume you've gotten everything you need from me." Even though, typically, it usually goes the other way around with a reporter.

"Angry is an understatement." Drier than irradiated bone, that. "And I'm not blaming you, Scoop, and I sure as frak ain't takin' a swing, either figuratively or literally." After all, she's not even military. "For the record, though: that other view is still idiotic. No boat or bridge would've let you outrun bullets. But, hey. It's not their fault for not knowing shit about combat support in this shitzone." Caustic ECO is caustic. "Keeping out of the loop those of us who have been trained to deal with these frakkers and their tactics? That? That is entirely their frakkin' fault." That's all the bile he's really inclined to spew, at the moment. Taking a deep breath, his nostrils flare as he exhales through the nose. Then again, and then once more. A bit calmer now, although seething, he concedes, "Yeah… A breather is a good idea." Just like that, the full extent of his exhaustion becomes more evident. Rising, Trask goes to open the hatch. "Thanks, Sawyer," is murmured, genuine. "I appreciate your lack of spin."

Sawyer gives a little nod and slips out of the hatch, as quiet as she came.

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