PHD #421: Living Free
Living Free
Summary: Vandenberg interviews Sawyer and Bannik for intel about Lampridis.
Date: 23 Apr 2042 AE
Related Logs: 15 Apr, The Trip to Gemenon, The Recons.. THE GAME.
Sawyer Bannik Vandenberg 
Main Brig
Tiny and cramped, the Main Brig seems designed to be claustrophobic. The steel bars lining the three cells have been set into the steel bulkheads on each side. Inside each cell is a stainless steel toilet and a bunk that might be too short for some of the taller crewmembers. The dreary conditions don't seem to be helped by the presence of a Marine guard who is there twenty-four hours a day, as long as a prisoner is in custody. The whole room is under surveillance via camera system in the Security Hub and every visitor must sign-in and abide by the rules.
Post-Holocaust Day: #421

Pacing. Sawyer's been doing a lot of that since she arrived back on the mysterious Raptor. In fact there are hours upon hours of security tape of where she's just walking back and forth along the same line in her cell, her teeth worrying against what's left of her thumb nail. The footage will show what little she actually does sleep is fitful at best, and when she awakes with a start, she just goes back to pacing as if to wear herself out.

When the hatch open and Vandenberg enters, her eyes fix right on Sawyer for a few seconds before looking to the guard at the table. Its obvious who she is going to be talking to. The Marine Lieutenant takes up the clipsboard and signs in. She has her back turned to the prisoners but she shows a few things to the guard who gives a nod in reply. With all the necessary business taken care of, the Marine turns back to Sawyer and offers a short smile. In addition to the burn scars since the recon, she's picked up several healing gashes across her face and a nasty one on her left hand. "Miss Averies? I'm Lieutenant Vandenberg with the Marines. We spoke some time ago about a dream you had. I'm here now to talk about something else if you're willing. This isn't an interrogation but like everything else, it, ah, will be recorded." She gestures to the cameras above and looks back. "If I recall, you smoke. Is that right?" Van reaches for a spare chair and pulls it up to sit in front of the cell.

Ah, someone coming to talk to her! Sawyer steps almost immediately up to the bars, fingers curling around them. "Sure. Natalie, right? Of course I remember you." At the mention of cigarettes, it's hard not to look so eager. No doubt the journalist is suffering from one raging nicotine fit right about now. "That's how they always get you, isn't it? With the cigarettes." There is a hint of a smirk at the corner of her lips. "But I'm willing to talk, even without them. I /need/ to talk. More importantly, I need someone to listen. Is that someone you, Lieutenant?"

Vandenberg smirks. "Yes, you got the name right. Here. Look, I can't hand over a pack or a lighter, but this is about the best I can do." The S3 takes out a cigarette and lights one in a cupped hand. "If you want another, just let me know. I'm not holding back or looking to piss ya off or send you into a fit." She reaches out between the bars to hand the cigarette over. "I'm glad to hear you are willing to talk. Thanks. But you said you need someone to listen?" She shrug lightly, crossing her legs as she sits back in the chair. "I might be that person. My interest generally lies in a few important areas. Intel and I imagine the Master at Arms will want to talk to you as well. If you want to tell me everything, that's your decision." She takes out another smoke to light her own cigarette, puffing lightly on it.

Sawyer's fingers scissor between the bars, pulling the offered cigarette from Natalie with a grateful smile. "Thanks." That's the only word spared before she takes that first delicious puff, and for the first time since she's been in the cell, some of the tension rolls out of her shoulders. "I'll tell you whatever you want to know. It's not like I have to protect my sources. First though, if you would allow me a personal question?"

Vandenberg nods a few times. "I'd appreciate it. You'll find I'm not aggressive with this stuff. I know we all have our reputations that follow us but I promise, I'm not a bad person when it comes down to it. We've probably got similar motivations, just different modus operandi." That smile flickers again and she dips her head. "You can ask, sure. But I can't promise I can answer. Given the nature of why you are here?" Natalie chuckles. "I hope you can can understand if not." She extends a hand as if to ask the woman behind the bars to continue to the question.

Sawyer's lips pinch around the cigarette as she takes a hard draw, exhaling the smoke out of her nose once it cycles through her lungs. "I've gotten tidbits along the way of what happened with the Areion. I know the department heads were recovered, I know about the Model One called Rejn. But I…I wonder if I could ask after two individuals? I would have thought they'd have stopped by, by now, and I'm beginning to worry. The Kay-Eye-Ay list. A Captain Kal Trask from airwing, and Lance Corporal Daniel Kincaid…" Her eyes are pained while trying to form the actual question. "Did they make it?"

Vandenberg listens, her own lips puffing away on the smoke. She almost looks impassive. Her brow lofts at the end and she nods quickly to the question. "Captain Trask suffered injuries during the air action on 15 April. Lance Corporal Kincaid boarded the Areion with me and was similarly wounded. Both will pull through. Not many people from combatant command from that day escaped without nearly getting killed. Beyond that I can't comment on our current strength." She flicks the butt of the smoke, watching the ashes fall to the deck. "So." Her eyes lift. "I have my concerns. Before I dive into them, tell me whatever it is that you want to tell me. I promise, no screaming or nonsense. I know you're rational - or have been in the past. As Marine Operations Officer, what do you think I should know?"

Sawyer gives a giant sigh of relief that's visible in the rise and fall of her chest, and her hand presses to her heart. At this point, it should be on her sleeve. "Oh thank the gods, they made it." Now whether or not they actually want to see her is a hurdle best jumped later. "The first thing you need to know is that they're weakening." Sawyer makes the switch abruptly, but it's clear she's referring to the cylons now. The pacing once again resumes, but now she has a cigarette to accompany her. Puffing away like a steam driven train, she walks the short length of the cell. "There is dissension among the models. I got to view it clearly when they spoke of each other. Each mentioned seems to have their own agenda - the threes, the fives, the twos the elevens. And they all seem to respect each other enough not to meddle in one another's business."

Natalie listens without interruption, the S-Three seeming as if they might be two women discussing some light business over coffee. "And this was on Gemenon, correct? Lieutenant McQueen took you to Lampridis, yes?" She moves along. "It seems that you felt these Cylons weren't attempting to be deceitful. I'm not saying they were and you were duped, believe it or not. But given how their interactions and things discussed, you believe them to have been honest? Were there any points where they tried to hide or withhold information from you?"

Bannik has arrived.

For the days that Bannik has been in the brig, he's been pretty quiet. He's been praying at times, just lost in thought in others. He has had the occasional complaint about being held in the brig, but, well, those have not been particularly well-received, which has sent him back to his praying, thinking and so forth.

"The McQueen-Two discovered Areion-sympathetic saboteurs on the deck and was in the process of stopping them when Bannik and I were deployed to help with the router issue. Of course, we didn't know he was a Cylon then, only that something was awry when they had McQueen on his knees with a gun to his head. They shot our marines and things got confusing right about then. Everything happened so fast and then we were holed up in the Raptor." Sawyer works that cigarette over hard in the short time she's had it, the paper burning angrily as she takes each draw. Smoking is the only thing that interrupts her words. "My details on this part are hairy, and I apologize, but I couldn't follow the linguistics of it. Something about how the Raptor we were sitting in was part of Kepner's plan to blow the Cerberus out of the water, so McQueen said he knew how to turn the tide. And he did, when we took off in the raptor. He had Tyr deploy the missiles while I radioed in the Bandit alert." She glances over to Vandenberg, giving a sympathetic smile. "Sorry, there's a lot to get out. The answer to your question is that that I believed them. The Two's and the Eleven's. There were some aspects of their kind that they were vague on, but then again, had the roles been reversed…well, you just don't show your whole hand."

There's a glance to Bannik in his cell when Sawyer mentions his name. She studies the man for a moment before looking back. Again, there are no interruptions to anything said. "When you found out that McQueen was a Cylon is something that Security will deal with. I'm not here to adjudicate guilt of anything at all. For either of you." She at the very least seems sincere about that. "You've got my word on that. Though anything said will be passed along to intel and security, as expected." There's a short nod to follow before she comments more. "There's no rush, Sawyer. Take your time. I'd rather the information come slow and to the best of your memory than fast and omitting things." Another slow drag of her smoke later and its ashed once more, Vandenberg keeping her eyes up on Sawyer. No comment to role reversal seems forthcoming. "Understood. Again, I'm not accusing, but it sounds as if you want to defend the Cylons you ran into. Would I be correct in that or no? Also, these humans living among the Cylons.." She switches which legs are crossed as if a physical manifestation of switching her own gears. "How would you describe their condition? Particularly the children. Did any seem frightened? Inhibited? Are they free to move about as they want or are they restricted in any way?"

At the mention of 'Intel and Security,' Bannik doesn't seem all too pleased. "I don't know why everyone keeps talking about Security," he protests. "We get hauled out of here and into a Cylon compound, and what welcome home do I get? I get tossed in the brig. Do you treat all taken personnel this way, or just the ones that actually work hard and do a good job for this Fleet?"

"I think we're being accused of treason." Sawyer tells Bannik simply, averting her eyes from him the moment the words are out of her mouth. She looks back to Vandenberg, "Defend them?" Sawyer tilts her head slightly, "Interesting." The journalist finally ends her restless pacing as Vandenberg proclaimed to prefer things slow and thorough, and she ends up sitting on the edge of the built in cot. "How do I form an answer to that? If people are looking for any excuse for me to be put in front of a firing squad, so be it. I can resign myself to that fate. But the Twos and Elevens are trying to reach out to the Cerberus because what they're seeking is a truce of some sort. I know now that the Eleven called 'Sarah' expected it to be a one way trip, but do you know the old saying 'don't shoot the messenger'? I was trying to ensure that her safety would be guaranteed so that your 'intel and security' could properly question her regarding their proposition. I was trying to make sure she wouldn't be shot on sight so we would lose that opportunity. Protect them? You know where they are, you could bloody well bomb the falls and mow them down. I am trying to protect us."

Vandenberg turns her gaze to Bannik but doesn't seem flustered or bothered by it. Her answer is as even as anything else she has said. "As far as I know you are being held out of concern for the protection of this fleet. We don't know what happened to you. And to answer your question, yes. We would treat anyone else this way, Mister Bannik. Regardless of position or rank or how hard they might work. I would be as inclined to put Pewter or Tillman in here under the same circumstances as I would be to yourself, or Miss Averies here. There's no malice to be had from me, Specialist, I assure you. If you wish to say nothing to me, that's a choice you make and one I won't attempt to alter here to your face or behind closed doors. As for charges that may be levied against either of you?" The Marine looks between them with the last. "To the best of my knowledge, no such thing has been done." If it had, she'd had probably given a 'no comment' style answer. "No, hmm, my apologies. That question was worded badly. I don't mean to try and trick you into admitting guilt of anything. Please, both of you, disregard that. I was more aiming to get the answer you provided, Sawyer. Find personal opinions about their intentions. And yes, if we wanted to, we could probably bomb them. I will tell you right now we've done no such thing but can't comment more than that. Though I am in agreement, I would have preferred to talk to the eleven, in much the same way I'm talking to the both of you. Believe it or not, whichever you prefer, I believe we can learn more by talking to them rather than killing them. Killing each other has gotten us.. wherever this is. Good or bad is relative to an opinion. I may not be a perfectly sympathetic ear to what happened, but nor have I had the same experiences you all have had. I'm not hostile." The picture of calm, she continues smoking. Of course its a lot easier to be calm on her side of the cell.

"Yeah. Well. It's gotten me in a cell rather than back to my bunk and back to my Deck. It's good to see you have so many extra people kicking down around there that you can hold me in the brig for three days rather than lodging charges or — doing much of anything, as far as I can tell." Bannik, clearly, does not share the same serene calm as the Marine S-3. "What are you even doing interrogating us? You're not Lieutenant Cora and you're not Military Police. So are you just — I don't know? Filling some down time between shifts?"

Sawyer has abused her cigarette down to the filter, and now she leans over to flick it into the toilet. "Tyr? I know you're frustrated. I am too. But the more people we can share this information with, the better. It needs to get out there. If I were in the News Room, it'd already be broadcast through the fleet." Her eyes shift back to Vandenberg. "I'd be doing the same thing, were I in your position. And by your, I mean as the collective whole of the military and the Cerberus. It's not their fault, Tyr." Sawyer looks to Vandenberg and curls her fingers for another cigarette, "Do you mind? Smoke 'em if you got 'em, and all that." She leans forward to the bars expectantly, taking advantage of Natalie's previous offer to share as much as the reporter would like. Who knows when such an offer will come up again. "Tyr and I have been put in the unique position of having to play the go between between our kind and theirs. I believe, in all honestly, it was happenstance that we were on the Raptor with McQueen. The data disk you found on my person should explain that. As I said, the Twos and Elevens want an end to this war. They showed us the temple, and believe that it holds the answer to a new planet or a new home. A safe home. As far as the situation down there, the Models and Centurians they referred to as 'Free' are living side by side in an old town like a true community. The children are being schooled, people come and go as they please. There is fear, sure, but not of Cylons they are living amongst."

Vandenberg chuckles. "Oh, no, Mister Bannik. I assure you. This is not an interrogation. Those are quite different. This is purely an interview - and yes, there is a legal difference. And as point of fact, I am actually Military Police. Though I'm not here in that capacity. My motivations for talking to you both are something I can't go into, but you're free to say nothing. Sawyer says she is trying to protect the fleet. I believe her. If she chooses not to believe me, she doesn't have to say anything or play it however she wants. But throwing accusations like that aren't going to help anyone, I assure you." There's a glance to Sawyer and a quick "Oh! Yes, sure," she allows as if surprised by the request. Van takes out another smoke. Its handed over unlit and Vandenberg flicks her lighter close to the doors for Averies to puff on. "Hm," is lightly offered at the mention of a final home. Van knows something and it seems to have been her only tell to it so far. "Interesting about the children, as well. They're holding school again." Its repeated as if a point of spoken fact. "You mentioned fear. What would you say they are afraid of? Cerberus bombing them? Other Cylons? Also, tell me if you can.. if, you know, a rough guess if you need to.. About how many Cylons are there? Centurions and humanoid models. Did you notice any kind of defenses or early warning sensors? Any discussion of such?"

"We are trying to help the Fleet," agrees Bannik. "But a whole lot of good we're doing sitting behind bars. I'll tell anyone who wants to know about the branch of friendship that the Twos and the Elevens — one whole sixth of the Cylon models! — has extended to us. They want to get to the bottom of the serpents and the drawings as much as we do. And they want our help to do it."

Sawyer leans into the lighter, getting a good cherry before she sits back from the bars. "Gods, I couldn't even begin to tally that information for you, Natalie. That's not where my mind was when we were down there, I'm not military. We met several twos, several elevens. The township wasn't full, persay, but they did mention they were extracting humans from pockets around the colonies and trying to keep them there and safe. It's my understanding all of the twos and the elevens are in agreement on this. Though how many that actually entails, I don't know. They did mention they still had the power of some Basestars behind them. Alluded that they were prepared to call them in against Areion had that become necessary. They also seemed able to receive word that the Rejn-One solved the problem before they had to do just that. Oh. They made it quite clear what the One did was against his original 'programming'," In quotes, because it's Sawyer who doesn't seem to know what to call it. "So don't expect the same cooperation from that model should we ever see him again." She's quiet for a moment, smoking pensively on her cigarette and nodding vaguely to what Bannik has to say. "They believe that the mystery to this 'new home' can only be solved if we work together. Like each of us has half of the key."

Vandenberg glances to Bannik again as he speaks up, watching her cigarette burn. "Interesting terms to use. Serpents and the drawings." She then looks back to Sawyer and lifts a hand. "I know. Its a lot to ask for a civilian. That's just stuff I needed to ask in case you knew. 'A lot' of Centurions? A few? I imagine their humanoid model lines aren't five or six of a single type so you don't have to venture a guess there. But that's all some pretty good information." She wets her lips and nods. "Okay. I'm pretty sure intel and the Master at Arms will want to talk more. For now that's all I've got." She offers a few more until smokes to Sawyer and then steps back for the door. "Guard should have a lighter. Thank you for speakin with me. I do seriously appreciate it."

Bannik has disconnected.

Sawyer takes the cigarettes, and oddly enough, squirrels them away under the lip of her mattress. "Thanks." The reporter flicks some hair out of her eyes and looks back to Vandenberg. "I'm sure I'll think of more to tell you, if you want to be an audience again. And if you have a chance, tell Major Hahn I need to see her? I would appreciate it."

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