PHD #406: Lethal Force
Lethal Force
Summary: Threats to the crew are discussed and Corrath issues orders to protect.
Date: 08 Apr 2042 AE
Related Logs: Anything to do with the abductions.
Corrath Vandenberg 
Office of Marine S2
This smallish styled office is typically made use of by the Master-at-Arms to conduct his business and oversee the MP's. As of late, with the lack of an MaA, the S2 has been making use of it, as is evident by the stacks of paperwork that seem to be accumulating on the desk. To the side, a secured cabinet can be see and a table with the never-ending Marine Coffee Pot <tm>. Across from the desk, two simple chairs are present for those who visit, while behind the desk, a much larger and more comfortable chair can be seen.
Post-Holocaust Day: #406

The past couple of days have been interesting to say the least and with the recent 'disappearances' of Circe and Constin, Corrath's been busy speaking with various MP's, in person. At this hour, he's made his way back to his office, along with two MP's who now flank the outside of his doorway. Seated behind his desk, the S2 has taken to drawing up a report of some kind, though he's refrained from using the computer system, choosing to do it by hand, instead.

Vandenberg appears in the doorway, giving a look to the two MP's stationed outside. She's in her greens, the woman taken to operational planning during this time and not patrolling. She raps knuckles on the doorframe and looks to Corrath. "We need to talk, Cor."

The knock draws Corrath's attention from the paperwork, eyes lifting upwards to settle on Van before he's giving a very simple nod of his head. "We do. Was just going to send for you." A hand lifts, then, motioning towards one of the chairs, "Come in and shut the door."

Vandenberg glances once more to the Marines and steps inside, closing the door behind her. "Yeah? I went looking for Guns last night and couldn't find him because I've got something you need to hear about." She takes the offered chair. The woman looks tense but lacking the explosive anger she might otherwise. "I talked to Lance Corporal Kincaid yesterday. He informed me that he gave Crewman Circe Lagana's name to Kepner to have her arrested on suspicion of being a Cylon." And so it begins.

There's a soft grunt, followed by a shake of Corrath's head, "Won't find him. Kepner's grunts came and kidnapped him and then had the balls to tell me after the fact." Pause. Blink. Lift of a brow. "Wait .. what? You're telling me Kincaid is responsible for the Crewman being seized by Areion personnel?"

Vandenberg's expression drops to something significantly less impressed. "They came aboard and arrested our Master at Arms? I'm going to assume this order did not come from you or Cerberus Command?" To the last, she nods slowly. "Kincaid came to me yesterday to talk about the investigation into the hacking of my computer - which I apparently did myself for some reason according to evidence. But the first thing he said is that he gave Circe's name to Areion because on the op at the second foundry, the hybrid looked right at her. I asked him why Constin named Lagana. He said Elf had nothing to do with it."

"The order came directly from Laughling and Kepner. Bypassed every frakking member of Cerberus Command or Cerberus Ship Security. And, it's going to stop. Now." A fingertip taps on the piece of paper he was writing on, but he doesn't elaborate on it. Yet. "Who the frak does Kincaid think he works for? Kepner? If he had evidence of something, he should have brought it to myself, the Captain or the Major. Not running around half-cocked, doing as he pleases."

"Fantastic. I used to have some respect for Laughlin. Glad to know the lines have been drawn." Van's voice is pure ice. She looks like she's ready to kill. "I don't know. I don't think he wanted to say more than he already had. He said she was going to be exposed to the Gun's radiation and it sounds like they intend to interrogate her if they haven't already started. He's your Marine so I wasn't about to snap his neck but you better believe I wasn't happy with that news. And Constin being taken?" The two are close. Just like a pair of scrappy Cancerans to band together. "Kincaid didn't say anything about Guns. He may not even know yet."

"Kincaid better have a -damn good- explanation for this, otherwise he's going to be cleaning the inside of one of the brig cells for conspiracy." Corrath's not impressed, but his tone is level, at least for the moment. "Don't have any details on the Crewman or Elf. Just that they were taken. But, it stops there. I'm assigning MP's to all airlocks and hangar bays with orders that any and all Areion Marines -must- be escorted by a squad of Cerberus Marines. I'd done letting people waltz in here and do as they please. They got an issue? They take it up with our MP's and will deal with it. If they suspect a Cylon? We'll detain the person and conduct the necessary investigation and questioning."

"Your boy, your problem, Cor." Vandenberg keeps her eyes on him, barely moving. Oh yes, she's mad. But she isn't boiling over just yet. 'Simmering' would be a better description. "Like I told Kincaid, if they are kidnapping our people that constitutes piracy. That is a hostile, unapproved boarding action. I don't care if Fleet Command approved it. If I have to listen to this dumbass chain of command, then they damned well better abide by it. But since they don't seem to think it applies to them?" She doesn't even shrug.

"It'll be dealt with," is Corrath's immediate reply, one that's accompanied by a very curt nod of his head. "There's no question about it, Nat. This is highly suspect and questionable and I want it to stop. You catch wind of an Areion Marine on board this ship, you grab a squad of MP's and make sure they don't take another single person without authorization from myself or Cerb Command. I don't know what game Kepner and Laughlin are trying to play, but I'm not going to sit around like a piece waiting to be moved."

Vandenberg listens patiently. Her breathing is slow and measured but its obvious what lies beneath. Anyone could read it in her eyes with a simple glance. "To what level of force are you authorizing to prevent anyone from taking a member of our crew without permission, Lieutenant?"

The question that is asked has Corrath considering for a moment before he simply gives a nod of his head, "Until further directed by the Captain, Major or the XO or CO, I'm going to treat these abductions as just that. Unauthorized and hostile. In the event that the Areion Marines will not stand down in their attempts, lethal force will be authorized. I'll make sure that Captain Mathers and the Major are notified of this."

The S-Three's expression is dark. "Understood. I'll be up front with you, Cor. I've got no want to kill another person. Especially not a Marine. But you draw a line in the sand. I won't advertise it, either. If I run into anyone from Areion, I'll do what I can to prevent it. We don't need a shooting war with that ship." 'But I will.' is the unsaid attachment at the end. "I'm supposed to be in operational phase planning but this takes priority. Give me an order, Lieutenant."

There's a simple nod of Corrath's head at Van's reply and for a moment, the S2 allows the silence to fill the room. Then, as he begins to rise from his chair, the silence is broken by a soft sigh before it's followed with, "There's a good chance I'm going to wind up in the brig as a result of this. In the event that happens, Natalie, ensure that the MP's and Cerberus crew are protected. In the meantime, pass the word amongst the MP's and those that you trust, that we're not going to tolerate our people being whisked away in the middle of the night, without a proper investigation or without evidence to support a detention. Verbal or handwritten orders, only. I want no trace of this in our network, to prevent outside sources from knowing what we're doing."

The S-Three keeps an impassive face of stone, eyes locked on Corrath. "I've had to do things like this before, Corrath. Things I've never told you about to insulate you from the repercussions if it had ever happened. I know the risk you're taking." Her words are slow, the accent sliding off her easily. Its the same one she has during briefings. "I'll stand to your duties if that's the case. I'll even bring you your work. But I'm right behind you. If we have to go to the brig together, so be it. Command can deal with their Marine officers being in the brig for this." A pause. "Have you spoken with Mathers about this?"

There's another curt nod of Corrath's head, followed by an almost humorless chuckle, "Figured as much and thanks." Then, he's giving a quick shake of his head before moving to one of the secured cabinets so that it can be opened and his sidearm removed. "Not yet. I'm going to speak with him, though. Going to tell him that I've issued this directive and that I best have his support on it."

"I think you will get his support. The Major probably will fluster but fall in line. We need to inform Command on the double about the kidnappings and I would suggest informing Major Hahn as they are coming and going via the hangar deck, I'd assume. If they're using flight operations, we need to know. Could give us the tactical edge if we can get advance warning." Vandenberg merely watches as he gets his sidearm. Likely she will be pulling her battle gear out right after leaving the office. "I'll find Marines personally and keep this off the radio net unless there is a boarding action." Following his orders, Van is living up to her promise of letting him handle ship-board security. "How are we getting our Marines back, Lieutenant?"

"I'll take care of notifying Mathers and Command. See if you can't get a private meeting with the CAG and get the information on the Areion's movements to and from the ship. May she'll have an idea on how to turn away their Raptors." The belt containing the sidearm is simply slipped about his waist and then fastened into place, "I'd prefer to -not- have to storm the Areion to get our Marines back. So, I'm going to see if we can't get Command involved to get them back. If not, I'm going to go over to the Areion and have a little .. chat with their MaA so that I can express the .. importance of returning our people."

"Copy that. When the CAG hears about this she is going to blow a gasket." Vandenberg still looks viciously angry but its kept in check. This is work and real damned serious business. "If it comes down to a boarding operation, I'm less confident without leverage. We tried that once during an exercise and it didn't end well for our Marines. Its their turf and their Marines tend to be a little more prone to advanced training. Lieutenant, I would suggest we make detainment of their Marines a priority and offer a prisoner transfer. But if it comes down to going over there for a chat, I'd request permission to come along. But be warned, I'm not coming back from that ship without our people." His own calculated risk to take by bringing Dog Platoon's Junkyard Officer.

"The more senior officers that we get on our side over this, the better off we'll be, Nat." A faint hint of a smirk plays across Corrath's lips as he gives a slow nod of his head, "I don't want a boarding operation if we can prevent it. Too much risk to life for that to be a viable option. But like I said, I'm not against going over there, personally, and expressing our displeasure at things. As for you accompanying me? I don't think that's really going to be an issue."

"No arguments, Lieutenant. I'd prefer we don't go this alone. But I honestly couldn't imagine us having to. These are our people. Not just Marines, but Cerberus crew. If Pewter's got any sense left in his body he better lose his hat over this one." The lack of vulgarity from the Canceran may be telling. Possibly unsettling. The calm in her voice is betrayed heavily by almost every other window to her mind. "I'll draw up a few ideas for boarding if it comes down to it. In the meantime, I'll find the CAG. I'll get with her squadron leaders as well if I can."

Another curt nod is offered from Corrath as the smirk fades from his lips, "Lets just hope that Pewter didn't know about these, Nat." That said, he's moving to make his way around the desk, "Lets get to it, then, and hope that this can be resolved more peacefully then it transpired." Moving towards the door, he's simply opening it now, "I'm going to speak with a few MP's and then I'm going to track down Mathers and hopefully get time with Pewter. Let me know once you've met with the CAG."

Vandenberg stands as Corrath moves around his desk, her expression severe as he mentions Pewter possibly knowing. "There's trouble brewin if that's the case." As if there wasn't enough already. "I'm going back to change then I'll find Hahn. Best of luck, Corrath. Remember you've got the weight of the Corps backin you on this and most definitely the support of Dog Platoon. Semper Fidelis, brother." She sketches a salute at him before stepping out of the office ahead of the S-Two.

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